This week my oldest had a bit of a fever so we couldn’t really head out much. Instead we cooked. First we made brownies, she wanted to surprise her mother, it worked. Then I convinced her to help me cook an amazing pasta dish. I can’t tell you how much I love cooking with my kids. This one was really fun because she got to help a lot. I will put the link at the bottom of this page for the recipe that I used.
Penne Pasta – Try and use about ten oz.
3 tbsp. Butter
3 Cloves of Garlic – you’ll need to mince this – use fresh garlic not the stuff in the bottle.
1 lb of Shrimp Raw – Medium or large. (Peeled and deveined) Scallops would also be a good addition, if you do that cut down on the shrimp to about a half a pound.
3 tbsp. chopped Fresh Parsley
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3/4 cup of milk (whole milk, if you use cream it may be to thick, stay with the milk)
1/4 cup of chicken broth, ( the below link calls for low sodium, I like the flavor though – your choose your blood pressure)
1 cup shredded Mozzarella – try not to eat all of it while your cooking.
1/4 cup Shredded Parmesan – set aside an additional 2 tablespoons or more
2 large tomatoes chopped – you could probably get away with one, it depends on how much you like tomatoes.
Fresh ground pepper, and salt, this is to taste more than anything.
1 large frying pan, that can be put into the oven. Please for the love of god put back the pan with the rubber handle, that’s not going to work. If you have a baking dish pull that out. You can make everything in the frying pan transfer it to an 8 x dish and use that to finish off in the oven. Oven you say, yes the oven. Just keep reading below and you’ll see.
This is the fun part. First get all your measurements set aside, and everything prepped ahead of time. Some steps in this involve good timing and you don’t want to burn anything. It helps if someone is cooking with you, one because you should never cook alone, but the extra hands help.
1st – Take a table-spoon of butter put it in the frying pan along with the minced garlic shrimp, and a tablespoon of parsley. Off to the Side make sure you have your pasta heating up. Also pre-heat your oven to 350.
2nd – Once the shrimp have turned pink on both sides, remove the shrimp. There should be plenty of juice cooking in the pan still. You’ll need this.
3rd – Remember I said timing and the extra hands would help, this is one of the steps that takes place. Place the rest of your butter into the frying pan, once melted you need to add your flour. This is how you make your roux, or the base for your white sauce. You may not need all of the flour, add it in to the melted butter and whisk away. It will begin to clump, don’t let it turn brown. Once all the butter has disappeared add in the milk, and then the broth. Keep stirring it will begin to thicken. (this may take some practice if you have never done it before)
4th – At this point you can add in 3/4 cup of your mozzarella and 1/4 cup of the parm. This will also help if thicken up. Then add your tomatoes, pasta, and some more parsley. Also salt and pepper to taste. Make sure you save some mozzarella, parm, and parsley for the end.
5th – Take that frying pan and place it in the oven. Let the pasta bake for about 8 minutes. Keep an eye on it, each oven seems to have its own personality. Mine tends to cook slower. It’s stubborn.
Lastly – Take out the pasta and let it rest for a couple of minutes finish it off with a little mozzarella, parm, and parsley. The fresh melted cheese and parsley will make it look amazing. Grab a fork and start digging in.
My oldest and I had a blast making this dish, extremely fun and tastes great. Remember never cook alone.
See You in the Future – Thee Time Traveler.