Penne Rosa Pasta Thank You

Last week my family took a trip to Buffalo to meet the first grandchild in the family, my adorable new nephew Oliver Thaddeus (or Baby O as we have started calling him).  

Although I could only stay the weekend, my parents stayed the week bonding with Baby O.  Knowing they were away and we had a heat wave happening in Boston, I figured there was no reason to swelter in the city when I can relax in the country while staying cool at their pool.  I am telling you, unemployment has it’s benefits.  You should see my tan!

As a thank you for the use of their pool, the least I could do was have dinner ready upon their return.  Checking out my Pinterest boards and knowing I wanted to keep it easy and quick, I came across the Penne Rosa recipe I had pinned.  My dad is a huge pasta fan and since I had ticked him off earlier in the day over my lack of enthusiasm for pool maintenance, I thought this might put me back in his good graces.

As this recipe was re-pinned many times by fellow pinners, I was excited to check it out and see if it was as good as it looked.  Plus, this was the perfect way to use the fresh basil from my neighbors.  I was also lucky enough to find many of the ingredients in my mom’s pantry as this girl needs to save some pennies.

What I changed –  Not much!  I pretty much followed the recipe as written but I did use pre-cooked shrimp as we had some in the freezer.  To prevent overcooking the shrimp, I added it to the sauce right before adding the spinach.  Nothing’s worse than rubbery overcooked shrimp.  In the future I would not recommend using pre-cooked.  Having the shrimp cook in the sauces would have added more flavorful and would be easier to control overcooking.  

Another alteration I did was add 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil when cooking the sauce and then some as a garnish right before serving.  My theory is you can never have enough fresh basil.

Results – Yummy, healthy goodness and enough leftovers for my Dad to munch on for the rest of the week.  He was in heaven and I was back in his good graces.  

Overall this was a successful pin and a great go to for a quick weeknight meal.  In the future I might think about adding more veggies to beef it up a bit.  Some yellow squash, zucchini and bell peppers to increase the veggies to pasta ratio. 

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