When I go out to eat, I scan the entire menu looking for inspiration for new recipes, in addition to what I am going to order for that meal!
If I find something that sounds delicious, I look at the ingredients and try to figure out the recipe for myself and to my liking.
For instance, I don’t care for mushrooms or olives all that much. I may use them if they are finely chopped but they are not a favorite of mine so I generally omit them.
Also, not a fan of peas and lima beans but I do like asparagus tips, spinach, kale and broccoli so I might swap the peas or beans for another green that I do like.
I always get the Zuppa Toscana at Olive Garden, but honestly, I like mine better!
The other night I made this delicious Tuscan Shrimp Fettuccine. I’ve seen this on menu’s, have ordered it and loved it!
I was in heaven with this dish, it is so good! It also works well with chicken.
The dish comes together pretty fast, so have all of your ingredients assembled before you start. The first time I made this I did not and regretted it!
You’ll want to start your pasta water. I used fettuccini noodles for this but because the sauce is fairly thick, you could also use penne pasta.
In a large fry pan with about 2 T of melted butter over medium heat, sauté your shrimp and onions. I sprinkled in garlic powder, but you can use finely diced fresh garlic if you want. I don’t use garlic that much so I usually just have the powder in my pantry.
When the shrimp are almost done, add some chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Pour in about 1 T of the oil from the jar of tomatoes. I have also used jarred, roasted red peppers instead of the sun-dried tomatoes. Delish as well!
You can add other veggies too, small broccoli florets and asparagus tips work.
After the shrimp are cooked, add chicken broth. A good white wine can be substituted. Cook over medium heat until the broth reduces.
Then lower the heat to a medium low and add half and half, light or heavy cream, your choice. My tummy can’t handle all that cream so I use half and half!
Also toss in about 2 cups of torn spinach and 1 cup of fresh grated parmesan cheese.
Cook over a low heat, stirring often. Turn the heat off as soon as it thickens.
Ladle in the cooked noodles and toss gently. Serve with chopped parsley and more grated cheese. If the sauce is too thick, you can add a little bit of the pasta water.
Tuscan Shrimp Fettuccini
This makes 2 large servings
8 oz fettuccini noodles, half of a one pound box
2 T butter
1-2 T garlic powder
25 large raw shrimp, deveined, peeled and tail removed
Half of a medium onion, diced
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes jarred in oil, chopped
1 T sun-dried tomato oil
½ cup chicken stock, white wine will work as well
½ cup half and half
2 handfuls spinach
1 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
- Bring water to boil for pasta, salt well.
- While pasta cooks, assemble ingredients and begin sauce.
- Melt butter over medium heat, add the shrimp, onions and garlic powder.
- When shrimp and onions are almost cooked, add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes and 1 T of the oil from the jar. Sauté for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the broth or wine, continue to cook over a medium heat until sauce reduces to about half.
- Reduce heat to medium low and add the half and half, spinach and cheese. Stir often and turn off heat when thickened and the spinach is wilted.
- Ladle in the noodles and toss gently.
- Top with parsley and more grated parm cheese.