Creamy Spinach & Penne Pasta with Shirmp

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I used to hate all kinds of seafood when I was younger.  It was not until recently that I got used to it.  Shrimp was one of the first things I started to like.  I used to make it in a pan with butter, heavy cream and some spices.  To make it healthier, I removed the heavy cream and use a lot less butter.

This recipe also contains spinach.  This was another thing that I did not really like as a kid.  Now, I am fine with eating it raw in salads, but have not come to like it cooked.  This recipe has helped me to eat it cooked.

If you want to make this dish vegetarian, you can always do it without the shrimp.  If you want to make it gluten free, you can make it with gluten free pasta.

You will also want to make sure that you do not omit the lemon zest.  This helps bring out the flavors of the other flavors in the pasta dish.  When you do this, make sure you only add the zest and not the bitter pith.

If you are like me and were or are a picky eater, give this a try and see if you can enjoy those foods that you never thought you would like.

Ingredients:

4 oz whole-wheat penne pasta

1/2 pound shrimp

1/2 tablespoon butter

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

6 oz fresh or frozen spinach

1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

Directions:

1. Cook the pasta in boiling water.

2. While cooking the pasta, add the shrimp to the melted butter in a saute pan for 8 minutes, flipping half way though. Add the garlic and cayenne pepper.

3. If the spinach is frozen add to the pasta in the last 2 minutes.  If the spinach is fresh, drain the pasta over a colander filled with the spinach.

4. Return the pasta to the pot.  Stir in the ricotta, Parmesan, zest, salt, pepper and shrimp.  Garnish with the toasted pine nuts.

5. Serve and enjoy!

Leave me a comment and let me know what you thought.

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