Saturday, May 7, 2011

dinner with friends

Last night we had a lovely dinner with friends at our little condo.

The menu:
Fresh Roasted Garlic Bread
Caesar Salad
Shrimp and Leek Rotini
Pesto Penne with Grilled Chicken and Sun-dried Tomatoes

They say to never try a new recipe when you are cooking for company but for some reason that's always when I want to do something new. Real Simple had a tempting recipe for Shrimp, Leek and Spinach Pasta. I've never cooked leeks before but they actually were really tasty. As usual I didn't follow the recipe exactly, but it was still really good!

12 ounces gemelli, fusilli or some other short pasta (I used whole grain rotini)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 leeks (white and light green parts only) cut into half-moons
kosher salt and black pepper
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp (I just got precooked cocktail shrimp)
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup heavy cream
10 ounces baby spinach (I ran out of time and didn't use any spinach :/)

1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain and return it to the pot.
2. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks have softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and lemon zest and cook, tossing frequently, until the shrimp is opaque throughout,  4 to 5 minutes more.

3. Add the cream and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the pasta in the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring, until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the shrimp mixture and the spinach and toss to combine.

A shot of the last remains of the Pesto Penne with Grilled Chicken and Sun-dried Tomatoes. This is one of my favorite pastas! Especially when my husband grills the chicken for me!
Dessert was cheesecake (made by Sara Lee, not me) and fresh strawberries and whipped cream. So yummy and full!

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