Sunday, 18 March 2012

Dinner for 6, for $10.00 - Angel Hair Primavera

     Angel Hair Primavera;

    In sharing my favourite budget stretching recipes,  I have come to realize that a lot of them are pasta recipes.  I think in a past life I must have been Italian.  This recipe is a real favourite, and really easy.  This dish is inspired by my favourite dish at East Side Mario's.  The funny thing is that they charge more for a plate full of it than it costs to make enough to feed 8 easily!

you will need...
1 package of capelleni pasta (or angel hair if you are lucky enough to find some)
approximately 1/4 of olive oil
2 garlic cloves (you can adjust this to your own tastes)
salt pepper
1 chopped onion (or more or less, depending on what you like)
any vegetables that you like.

The first thing I do is to take a mason jar and fill it with 1/4 of olive oil.  I then smash a clove of garlic and let it sit.  It's better the longer you let it sit.  How long I let it sit depends on how much time I allow myself.

Next, I take out my wok, a frying pan also works really well.  I throw in olive oil into my wok, then I fry up the onion.  The smell at this point is like heaven.  I then salt and pepper it up.  At this point you want to put your salted water on to boil for your noodles.  Next I throw in celery, thinly sliced carrots, I love this stuff that they sell at the store called "broccoli slaw" it is excellent for this and costs about $2.00.  I like to pre-cook the broccoli, and then throw it in last so that it does not molt.  I have found that if I put it in too early the broccoli looses it's "branches".  I like to give the veggies and nice browning.

I at this point have water on to boil for my noodles and also for my shrimp.  You can top this with anything you like.  It's also nice with left over grilled chicken.  I always buy "raw" shrimp.  They taste so much better!  On a visit to Myrtle Beach we learned how to cook shrimp properly.  You want to salt your water and when it boils throw the shrimp in.  We were told that you don't want to cook them for over 2 minutes, otherwise you will overcook them.  I use the bag of frozen and am way to disorganized to predefrost, so I cook mine for 3 and a half minutes.  I have a bowl of cold water on stand by.  After 3 and a half minutes I drain them and throw them into the cold water to stop them cooking.  I then peel and put them aside.

When the big pot of water has boiled for the noodles, I toss half a bag in.  The key to capelleni noodles is to cook them for no more than 2 and a half minutes.  I have learned the hard way that more than 2 and a half minutes results in unusable mush.

When I have cooked the pasta, I rinse it in cold water to get rid of the starch and stop it from clumping. I empty my veggies into a big bowl and set it aside.  I then put a pit more olive oil into the pan and dump the noodles.  I like to crisp them up a little. You only want to do a few seconds.  Put it back into it's pot and mix in the 1/4 of olive oil.  Put a lid on it to keep the heat in.  Now toss the shrimp into the wok with a little olive oil and grated garlic clove.  You just want to brown them.  Shrimp are very easy to over cook, so you need to be careful.

Now it's time for plating.  Put your pasta on the plate, then top it with the veggies and shrimp.  I like to top it with a little grated parmesan cheese, but that's me.

There you have it, Angel Hair Primavera, enjoy!  (The kids say that if I had a restaurant, this would have to be on the menu).

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