It’s hard to believe that it’s been three weeks since I last posted here. I freely admit that I haven’t done much cooking. We have been doing plenty of anniversary partying, coffee date with friend-ing, camping, vacationing, amusement park-ing, and drive-in move going. What we have not been doing plenty of is meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. There’s been some cooking, just not blog-worthy cooking. We’ve slathered pork chops with barbecue and grilled them, and enjoyed many a corn on the cob or a burger. We’ve also enjoyed plenty of meals out either celebrating or due to time constraints. So, while I’ve been completely neglecting my blogger duties, I have been completely busy loving my new job, loving time with Lane and the kiddos, and celebrating both our own milestones and those of the people we love.
With nothing planned or thawed out ahead of time and with no real plan in hand, I made a great dinner last night that took less than half an hour from start to finish. The next time I come home from work and decide that it’s faster to order something or head to a restaurant, I am going to remind myself that in the amount of time it would have taken to peel M away from her Kindle and O away from his Legos, we could be sitting down to dinner. I thawed some shrimp, boiled some water, and got to work. It did help that I had a hunk of Asiago cheese on hand, so if you don’t I strongly suggest putting a hunk of any sharp Italian cheese on your next grocery list. Just in case. If you’re looking for a great macaroni and cheese recipe, you can follow the instructions and skip the shrimp and peas. I love this pasta with bacon or ham and broccoli as well.
Penne in Cheese Sauce with Shrimp and Peas
- 1 lb. penne pasta, cooked to package directions and drained
- 8 oz. sharp Italian cheese (such as Asiago), grated
- 1 1/2 C. whole milk, divided
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 C. frozen peas, thawed
- 12 oz. uncooked large shrimp (25-30 per lb.), peeled and deveined
- 2 tsp. olive oil
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the shrimp.
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the shrimp in a single layer, sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.
Cook the shrimp for 2-3 minutes, then flip them and cook for 2-3 more minutes just until they are pink and opaque. Remove from the heat and keep covered.
To prepare the cheese sauce, warm 1 C. of the milk in a medium saucepan.
While the milk in the saucepan is warming up, whisk the remaining 1/2 C. of milk with the flour in a small bowl until there are no lumps.
When the milk in the saucepan is just starting to release steam, whisk in the flour and milk mixture and whisk constantly for 3-4 minutes over medium heat until the mixture resembles heavy cream.
Reduce the heat to low and add the grated cheese, a handful at a time, stirring until the sauce is smooth after each addition.
Continue until all of the cheese has been added to the sauce and stir until the sauce is creamy.
Stir in freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Stir together the cooked shrimp, pasta, and peas.
Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta mixture and stir to evenly coat the pasta mixture with cheese sauce.
Makes 6 generous servings.
Source: pasta and cheese sauce adapted from The Kitchn.