I took the photos for this dish to send to a friend before I began blogging. It was pretty good and easy to make, so I am going to try and re-create it for this blog. In my free-spirited style of cooking, I am sure I just combined ingredients without measuring that evening, but I will try to include some approximate quantities here for those of you who like a bit more specific recipe. The ingredients are formatted in bold if you want to make a shopping list.
This is a fairly fast-cooking dish, so do all your prep work first. Assemble all of your ingredients (measured, minced, chopped, etc.) before you fire up the stove under the skillet. For perfect timing on the pasta, have a large pot of water simmering on the stove. After you have simmered the tomato sauce for about 5 minutes, quickly bring the pot of water to a boil and add the spaghetti. It should be done about the same time as the finished sauce.
The basic idea for the dish was….
Sauteed shrimp and mushrooms in a quick tomato sauce flavored with basil and Kalamata olives, tossed with thin spaghetti and topped with feta cheese.
And this is (pretty much…) how I did it 🙂
Saute raw peeled and de-veined shrimp (about one pound) in olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy skillet until they just turn pink (do not overcook!). Remove from pan. Saute sliced baby bella mushrooms (probably used 8 ounces, since that is the size package of sliced mushrooms I most often see), adding more olive oil as necessary. Remove from pan.
Add a small amount (1/3 cup) of white wine or low sodium chicken broth to the hot pan and scrape up any browned bits of mushroom. Add minced garlic (a clove or two) and shallots (approximately one tablespoon) or red onion and cook for a minute or two to reduce the liquid – taking care to not burn or scorch the garlic (Looking at the seasonings in the bowls in the photo, I probably used Litehouse brand freeze-dried garlic and red onions).
Add petite diced tomatoes (I probably used 2 cups or so – good quality from a can – or fresh if you have really ripe tomatoes), basil (I would have used either fresh chopped basil or Litehouse brand freeze-dried basil) and Kalamata olives (maybe 1/3 cup or so). I can tell from the spice bowls photo that I added a dried, crushed cayenne pepper for some heat – that is completely optional, but oh so good. Let simmer approximately 10 minutes so it thickens up a bit.
Add the shrimp and mushrooms and simmer another three minutes or so to blend the flavors.
Toss with cooked thin spaghetti and top with crumbled feta cheese. (Parmesan is a good substitute if you do not like feta cheese.)