Friday, January 1, 2010

Pasta "Amore" for New Year's Eve

We usually don't do much on New Year's Eve. Since we have been married, Jenna and I have traditionally fed and put the kids to bed at their regular bed time and then I would make a candle-light seafood dinner for the two of us with some sort of sparkling juice and/or San Pellegrino mineral water. However, this year we have been invited by Jenna's cousin to attend a party in Heber City to welcome home her son from his two-year LDS mission in Chile, as well as celebrating the end of 2009 and the arrival of 2010 together. I was asked to cook the main dish for the evening, specifically to make the same pasta dish I prepared last August at Jenna's family reunion. This is a fairly simple dish, very tasty and very rich that I came up with during the past year and it has now become a family (and apparently also an extended family) favorite. I don't have a name for it, so for the time being I will just call it "Pasta Amore". Any suggestions for a better name are welcome! :)
For this occasion I made 6 pounds of pasta and of course the three photos below reflect the amount of ingredients necessary to feed 30-50 people (there were other food available at the party). The following ingredients are for the typical one pound pasta packaging and it would feed approximately 6 people.


- 1lb Pasta. I prefer the Farfalle (bow ties) shape from either Garofalo (Costco) or Barilla (many grocery stores carry it), but even Penne or other pasta shapes would do it;
- 3/4 cup sundried tomatoes (I get mine at Costco);
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced (depending on taste);
- 1 TBSP of dry basil leaves or a couple of fresh ones;
- 1 bouillon cube;
- 1/2 pint of heavy whipping cream;
- 1 lbs of cooked, tail off medium or large shrimp (I get mine frozen in a 2lbs bag at Costco);
- 1 cup of fresh mozzarella cheese (I prefer the Belgioioso Pearls at Costco or any fresh diced mozzarella would do it).

Cook pasta following the directions on the packaging. In a non-stick fry pan, sautee the sundried tomatoes in their oil with the bouillon cube, garlic, and basil. Do not overcook. When the tomatoes look softer, add the whipping cream and continue to cook over low/medium heat. In the meantime, thaw the shrimp (if frozen) under lukewarm water, drain and place in a bowl. If you are using a larger mozzarella loaf or ball, dice in cubes approximately 1/4 inch in size or smaller. Set aside. When the pasta is al dente, remove from heat, drain, and mix with the sundried tomatoes sauce. Add shrimp and fresh mozzarella. Toss and serve immediately.

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