Thursday, January 19, 2012

Nativities and Creamy Pasta Bliss

I had fun taking down my Christmas decorations today. 

 I love this little nativity. Grandma Forga had one just like it when I was growing up, and I believe she had it when my mom was growing up as well. I was excited to find one for 25¢ at a thrift shop down the road.

Grandma Forga did this Christmas painting for me. Grandma has been quite a prolific painter since her move to the assisted living; but I am proud to have her one and only sparkly painting. Mom brought me the colorful tin nativity from her last trip to Santa Fe. 

It came with a pretty tin box.

Then I made one of my favorite recipes: creamy tomato-basil pasta with shrimp.


{ Those are stuffed mushrooms. }

This was the richest meal ever!!! It didn't hit me that this meal was going to be totally inappropriately rich until it was like almost done and there was no time to fool with making a salad to go with it. I told Josh to just pretend like he was a medieval king. 

Here's the recipe for the pasta (it is killer):

Creamy Tomato-Basil Pasta with Shrimp
adapted from

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
10 ounces uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup Kraft sun dried tomato vinaigrette
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons garlic salt
4 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces farfalle (bow-tie) pasta, dry
1 cup (100 grams) freshly grated parmesan
cracked pepper to taste
8 fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
Additional basil leaves for garnish, if desired

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and sautee until browned, 5 to 10 mintues. Add red onions; cook and stir for about a minute. Add shrimp; cook and stir until done, about 4 minutes. Remove vegetables and shrimp from skillet. 
  • Add vinaigrette, broth, and garlic salt to skillet; cook 2 minutes or until heated through. Add cream cheese; cook and stir 2 or 3 min or until melted. Add cooked pasta to skillet along with shrimp & vegetables, parmesan, and cracked pepper. 
  • Turn heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce has reached desired thickness, 10 minutes or less. Remove from heat and stir in basil strips. Garnish with additional basil if desired.

Yield: 4-6 servings
Calorie content: 1 cup (165 grams) = 300 calories
Note: On the page I've linked to for the original recipe, there's a great explanation of how to slice basil into lovely chiffonade strips. 

1 comment:

Mom In a Box said...

I will be making that pasta. Thanks for sharing!