Thursday, April 12, 2012

Shrimp Pasta...with Tomato Basil Sauce.

Sadly, Momma Bell has left us to return to the great state of Missouri.  Luckily however, she left us with incredibly full bellies, a new bed, a couple new articles of clothing, a new found love for blackjack, and of course some wonderful new memories.

We were able to pack in so many fun things over the last couple of days but of course we weren't able to snap ONE picture together.  Not even our usual last minute "leaving for the airport" shot.  Mom, we need to work on this.

Instead of pictures together...we snapped some pictures of our food.  Typical.  Seriously.  Most pictures exchanged between the two of us are centralized around food.  Nothing wrong with that right?

{Isn't she the cutest?}

Every time mom comes to visit, it's imperative that we spend an afternoon/evening in the kitchen.  It's tradition at this point and it can't be broken.

This cooking process has divided itself into several different steps that usually end up taking a good chunk of the day, making the end result that much more satisfying.  First, the daunting task of deciding what we will make.  There is usually much debate, or me just being picky and indecisive.  After that is over with, we obviously make a list that includes everything we need to pick up.  I didn't acquire a love/psychological need for lists from nowhere (aka...I completely inherited it from my mother).  And...the next part is my favorite.  We stroll around the North End stopping by all of the local shops to pick up an item or two at each place.  Why would you buy meat anywhere but the butcher, or bread from anywhere but the baker?  You wouldn't.  That's madness.

Also, we usually end up stopping at the coffee shop for an Americano along the way.  Sheesh, we are predictable.

Let's take a gander at all of the local goods while we're on the subject.

Homemade Whole Wheat Ziti from DePasquale's Homemade Pasta Shoppe.  This is as homemade as it gets.  As we were browsing the store, an adorable Italian woman was sitting in the corner making some delicious looking Gnocchi with several other "pre-noodle" bowls of dough surrounding her.

So fresh they are still BLUE!  These little babies came from The North End Fish Market.  I can't even begin to describe how wonderful this place is.  Especially for a girl from a landlocked state.  I live for fresh seafood.

There is not a good meal that comes out of this household that doesn't require a stop at Monica's Mercato.  I've said this over and over but I can't help it.  This is one of my favorite places in Boston.  The tiny little space is absolutely packed with delicious cheeses, fresh baked bread, meats, soups, snacks, and all sorts of other treats.  Plus the guys in there are incredibly friendly and always perk up your night with their fun banter.

What's a good Italian meal without wine?  It isn't.  Every Friday evening, our favorite wine supplier, The Wine Bottega, hosts a nice little wine tasting event down in their "cellar".  It's a magical little place, littered with wine bottles and beautifully distressed wood.  This was number 5 on the list of tastings.  It only took one tiny little sip and we were sold.  Donkey & Goat has easily become one of my favorites.

And lastly, what's a good meal without dessert?  Once again, it isn't.  A while back, I ran into a lovely chocolatier who lives...just down the street.  How dangerous is that?  I wasn't aware of this danger until I tried her delicious chocolates.  Seriously, they are UNREAL.  She creates homemade RAW chocolate truffles in her very own kitchen.  Raw, meaning they aren't so dangerous after all.  Whew.  If you are a Boston resident, you need to place an order.  Now.  And you can do that {here}.

And finally...we have made it to the final part of the process.  It's time to cook.

Shrimp Pasta...
with a tomato basil sauce

Servings: 4-6   Prep Time: 10 minutes   Cook Time: 20 minutes   Total Time: 30 minutes

  • 12 ounces, uncooked pasta of your choice (I used whole wheat ziti)
  • 1 1/2 pounds uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, saute shrimp and garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet until shrimp turn pink.  Remove and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, saute mushrooms and onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until tender.  Stir in tomatoes and tomato paste.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low.
  4. Add shrimp, basil, sugar, and oregano.  
  5. Cook, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes or until heated through.  Give it a taste test and season with salt and pepper accordingly.
  6. Drain pasta and top with shrimp and sauce.  Serve with Parmesan cheese.
  7. Enjoy!


  1. Hi. I want to make this pasta, only I don't like shrimp...I much prefer salmon. Could I a) substitute the shrimp for salmon? or do you b) want to do another post for me with some kind of cream-sauced, salmon pasta...

    1. You little booger. Who doesn't like shrimp? Don't worry though dear, I'll make you a creamy salmon pasta sometime in the near future.

  2. Your blog site is so friendly and intriguing. I have that same yellow/brown tile in my kitchen-rented home. Have any ideas on how to make a kitchen more attractive? We aren't ready to remodel. Found this blog off of Pinterest in case you are wondering.

    1. Thank you! Ugh. The brown/yellow tile. Who thought putting that up was a good idea? :) We spiced our kitchen up with a lot of vintage finds for really cheap. For example we store our bread/chips/ziplocs in these old metal milk crates that we hung from the ceiling with chain. I adore them and we get compliments all the time! Cute tablecloths and art also decorate our walls. Hope this helps! Good luck!!


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