Monday, July 30, 2012

Pasta and Shrimp with Marinara - Warning Below

Before I tell you about the delicious dinner I made tonight I have to post a warning.

This meal could cause some serious addictions! LOL.  But in all seriousness it is quite delicious and I thought I would share it with you.  Before I do, though, I must add that I am Italian. Born and raised.  My grandfather was from the old country and came over in the early 1900s.  He taught my very Italian grandmother how to cook and she in turn taught me as much as a young girl could handle.  That said, I have gone through several different styles of marinara sauce from her as well as with my own spin and think I have finally mastered a sauce that is not only delicious but easy to make in just a few minutes time.


Marinara sauce

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
Fresh basil
1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp (optional)

In a large casserole pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. After the vegetables are cooked through add chicken broth over medium and stir until the broth reduces to half.  In the meantime squish the tomatoes and juice in a bowl with your fingers until the tomatoes are all broken up and in very tiny pieces (I don't use a blender as I like the texture of the tomato bits). Add the tomatoes and juice, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens.  While the sauce is cooking, heat a skillet with a few drizzles of olive oil.  When the skillet gets hot, add the shrimp and saute them until pink. When the sauce is done, season with more salt and pepper, to taste.  Add the basil and shrimp.

Add garlic bread:
I love my basil plant!

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