As you all know, I like… LOVE pasta.
It is a major food group, the yin to my yang, the one thing that makes me feel better about life no matter what’s going on (kind of like the chips and guacamole from Chipotle… Yummmm).
It’s not too often that I can find a pasta dish that is “light”. Especially when there is some sort of cream sauce and cheese involved… (food weaknesses #15 and 16… out of 5,237,623….) I see the word “light” and automatically associate the recipe with words like “bland”, “no cheese”, and “not worth my time”.
Despite my skepticism I decided to try this one. Primarily because the creator regularly supplies me with food porn and I have yet to try a recipe (do I need to remind you of my issues with recipe hoarding?).
I don’t often make great decisions but this was one of those times the clouds parted and a bright idea was born.
Behold a light pasta that not only includes pasta, it also has shrimp.
And a cream sauce.
And it doesn’t taste like nasty diet food.
Need I say more?
Light Garlic Shrimp Baked Penne (adapted from Pinch of Yum)
- 1 lb. raw, deveined tail-off shrimp
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 6 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
- 1 can fire roasted tomatoes with garlic
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 6 ounces fat free evaporated milk (about half of a can)
- 1 ounce light cream cheese
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- salt to taste
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese for topping
- In a skillet, brown 1 clove minced garlic in olive oil. Saute for 1 minute or until garlic is soft and fragrant. Add shrimp and cook about 3 minutes on each side, until no longer pink.
- Cook pasta as directed until al dente. Drain and return to pan. Drain tomatoes and add to the pasta. Add cooked shrimp.
- In a small skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter and add 3 cloves minced garlic over medium-high heat. Saute for 1 minute. Add flour and stir until a soft, sticky mixture forms – about 1 minute. Add half of the evaporated milk and whisk until smooth. As it cooks, the mixture will start to thicken and bubble – when it does, add the rest of the evaporated milk. As the mixture thickens and bubbles again, add the cream cheese and whisk until smooth. As the mixture thickens, add the chicken stock to thin out the sauce. Season with salt to taste.
- Pour sauce immediately over pasta and mix gently. Pour into a small baking dish. Top with Parmesan cheese; bake at 375 degrees for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown on top.