White Bean Masala Sauce

by Sarah on October 29, 2014 · 0 comments

So, after the repeated success with making white bean gravy, I started to wonder if there was another way I could sneak beans into The Professor’s diet use white beans to make creamy non-dairy sauces.IMG_3959 (1280x853)

And after cooking up some local eggplant and zucchini, I discovered that white beans make a fabulous Indian curry.IMG_3996 (1280x853)

I actually never know what to call Indian-flavored “curries,” but apparently tikka masala is generally creamy, spicy, and orange…so I went with that.


Sadly,*I ate this without The Professor, so there is no way to know if an unknowing participant in your dinner would recognize the flavor of the white beans, but I didn’t. I just devoured it. :)

*Although maybe not for him.IMG_4022 (1280x853)

Vegetable Curry with White Bean Masala Sauce

(Serves 4-6)

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp, minced fresh ginger
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5-6 cups chopped vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, peas, roasted potatoes, etc.)
  • 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz. can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp. curry powder, separated
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin (optional)
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • s +p
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  1. Saute onion, ginger, and garlic in oil over medium-low heat in a large, wide brimmed sauce pan.
  2. Once onions begin to soften, add chopped vegetables and cover, adding a smidge of water to the pan to help steam, if necessary.
  3. In a food processor, combine white beans, vegetable broth, and 2 tsp. curry powder. Process until smooth.
  4. Add 2 tsp. curry powder, 1/2 tsp. cumin, and 1/2 tsp. garam masala to the vegetables, stirring well to cover.
  5. Once vegetables are fork tender, stir in tomatoes.
  6. Poor white bean curry sauce into the pan, stirring well.
  7. Bring to a simmer. Cook 3-5 minutes.
  8. Stir in cilantro and add remaining seasoning, if desired.
  9. Serve over rice or with naan.

IMG_4014 (1280x853)


Smoky Roasted Corn Chowder (Vegan)

by Sarah on October 27, 2014 · 0 comments

Maybe it was the lingering memory of eating Panera’s Summer Corn Chowder on a porch in Boston with my family this summer?IMG_3972 (1280x853)

Maybe it was the printout of Whole Foods’ Monkfish Chowder recipe staring at me from the pile of random papers–you know you have one–stacked by my computer on my desk the dining table?monkfish chowder

Maybe it’s all the candy corn everywhere?IMG_20141019_165600

Either way, this girl was going to make some chowder.

And it was going to be corn(y).*

*You love me.IMG_4035 (1280x852)

Granted, in much the same way that “stir fry” in The Smart Kitchen really means sauteeing vegetables in some form of Asian-influence sauce, “chowder” just means “thick soup.”IMG_3930 (1280x853)

Sure, I could have tried to defrost the 18,000 pounds of local bacon The Professor has in the freezer for some meat emrgency he is apparently stocking up on…but I went with smoked paprika, cumin, and chili powder—IMG_3938 (1280x853)

—along with roasted (previously frozen) corn–to give me a somewhat smoky smokey smoky smokey smoky flavor instead.


Of course, in a weird, the universe is functioning in reverse kind of way, the smoky smokey smoky subtle heat from the spices actually mellowed over time, whereas usually soups stews chowders are begging for a few days in the fridge to intensify, it seems that sweet corn might just get sweeter.IMG_3941 (1280x853)

Like a small child trying to get away with something she was definitely NOT supposed to do?IMG_4038 (1280x853)

The only thing I covered up was the vegan-ness of this dish, but either The Professor didn’t notice, or he’s just begun to assume that–in another strange twist of cruel universal forces--the only time I cook meat is when he’s not hereIMG_4027 (1280x853)

…because this was the first time since the rice incident that he’s actually said “That was good,” without any prompting from me. Huzzah!IMG_4030 (1280x851)

Smoky Roasted Corn Chowder

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 14.75-oz. can cream-style corn
  • 1 2/3 cup frozen sweet corn
  • s + p
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • dash of chili powder
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup unsweetened plain almond (or soy) milk
  • 2 Tbsp. masa corn flour (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spread frozen corn in an even layer on a baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and season with pepper. Roast for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
  3. Saute onion, garlic, and bell pepper in olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot or Dutch oven.
  4. Once onions begin to brown, stir cream-style corn into the pot.
  5. Add salt, pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, and chili powder. Stir well to mix.
  6. Cook until cream-style corn begins to simmer.
  7. Stir in vegetable broth and almond milk. Return to a simmer.
  8. Whisk in masa corn flour, if using.
  9. Stir 1 1/2 cups roasted corn (eyeball about 3/4 of the corn) into the chowder.
  10. Use an immersion blender until creamy, but still full of texture.
  11. Stir in remaining corn and cilantro.
  12. Return to a simmer and cook until thickened, stirring bottom of the pot regularly.



Creamy Ranch White Bean & Yogurt Dip

by Sarah on October 23, 2014 · 1 comment

 As a part of Siggi’s Culture Club, I not only get to share the love of Siggis yogurt with my friends–both real and virtual–I also have the opportunity to participate in monthly challenges (usually not promoted openly online).IMG_3891 (1280x853)

This month’s challenge was to Try a Siggi’s recipe! which, was obviously not something I could pass up.IMG_3831 (1280x853)

Of course, as I looked through the multitude of intriguing, tested recipes on their website, I realized that as much as I obviously wasn’t going to skip this challenge, I also obviously wasn’t going to be able to stick 100% to a recipe.

Can I ever do that?

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So instead, I combined the concept of a creamy ranch dressing with a creamy yogurt hummus…

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…which I think is just the best of all worlds.

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(Because really, how does one NOT find strange joy in Ranch dressing, even though you just know it can’t be doing good things to your veins. It just can’t. Especially when you pair it with cheesy breadsticks and consume it after midnight in a dorm room. Not that I ever did that as a first year in college or anything.)IMG_3868 (1280x853)If you aren’t using Ranch* to, you know, actually eat a salad (or dip pizza into?), then you probably will find it alongside carrots and celery sticks on a small (or bigger) child’s dinner plate, so, I guess it makes sense to pair Ranch-flavored white bean yogurt dip with those same crudite.

*Why does that seem to require capitalization?IMG_3902 (1280x853)

Although it tastes really good with roasted (white sweet) potatoes, too. Maybe because it tastes a bit like sour cream & onion potato chips?IMG_3920 (1280x845)

Creamy Ranch White Bean & Yogurt Dip

  • 1 15-oz. can Great Northern (or other white) beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/4 cup plain  Siggis Icelandic-style yogurt*
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. dried chives
  • 2 Tbsp. dried parsley leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. dried dill
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. salt

*May substitute plain Greek yogurt

Combine beans and yogurt in a food processor. Process until smooth.

Add garlic, vinegar, and seasonings. Process until well-blended.

Serve with carrots and celery…or get creative. (Potatoes?)IMG_3915 (1280x853)


Preparatory thoughts for this month’s Recipe Redux were perfectly timed with The Professor’s first (and let’s hope, last) cold-and-flu-like illness of the season.IMG_3712 (1280x853)

The theme for this month’s virtual recipe potluck was Spooky Spices, and, although two moves in two years had actually forced me to toss a lot of those spooktacular spices I never quite knew what to do with.recipereduxSPICES (960x479)

….there was one sitting up in the cabinet untouched, mostly still there because I’d inherited it from a roommate who used it once, after I convinced her to buy it, being so obsessed with my two other “You can only get them at TJMaxx” spice blends from Victoria Gourmet.

It wasn’t FEAR, but guilt that kept me holding on.

But I NEVER used it. EVER.IMG_3752 (1280x853)

So when The Professor took sick, it struck me that this was too eerie of a coincidence to ignore: after all, when you are sick and congested you need soup…and soup featuring sinus-clearing citrus and peppery spice can only be a boon to your recovery, no?IMG_3706 (1280x853)

Garlic, onion, and ginger, are all quite healing as well, of course. And I purposefully used chicken over veggie broth, since something in the chicken is good for curing what ails you.


Of course, when The Professor said, “Soup would be good, what I heard was, “Please feed me all the veggies.

I restrained myself.

A little bit.IMG_20141011_125710

And yes, I roasted the carrots and parsnips and onion separately. It probably didn’t make a flavor difference….but maybe it did.IMG_3709 (1280x853)

All I know is The Professor consumed at least 6 bowls of this….and he’s no longer sick.

So I guess this Halloween-themed spice magic worked?IMG_3714 (1280x853)

Healing Lemon Pepper Roots & Greens Soup

  • 2 cups sliced/chopped carrots
  • 2 cups sliced/chopped parsnips
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. minced ginger
  • 4-6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4-6 cups chopped fresh kale (or 2 cups frozen)
  • 1 Tbsp. no-salt lemon pepper
  • salt, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss together carrots, parsnips, and onion in olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast carrots and parsnips for 30-45 minutes, just until fork tender. (May be longer depending on your chop size and oven calibration.)
  4. In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil over medium heat.
  5. Cook garlic and ginger for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant.
  6. Add kale and 1 cup broth to the pot. Cook until wilted (or thawed, if using frozen).
  7. Add lemon pepper and remaining broth to pot. Bring to a boil.
  8. Stir in roasted root vegetables, and reduce heat to a simmer.
  9. Serve immediately, or allow flavors to develop for a few hours (with heat off) or overnight.


My New Favorite 5-Second Salad Dressing

by Sarah on October 16, 2014 · 1 comment

IMG_3758 (1280x853)1 part spicy brown mustard 


2-3 parts roasted pine nut hummus 


a splash of tamari (or liquid aminos) 


water to desired consistencyIMG_3760 (1280x853)

I’m not saying it’s fancy, or that it doesn’t probably end up having proportionally high sodium levels or some other nutritionally criminal quality…IMG_20141013_140806

….but I AM saying it tastes amazing on salad, and leftover salmon, and white sweet potatoes (which re actually yellow), and roasted veggies, and even one time this week I drizzled it on okra and then mixed it into a tomato bean soupy type concoction that was really ugly, but quite flavorful.IMG_20141015_133126_608 (1279x1280)

I just felt like I should share.IMG_3759 (1280x853)



North African Black Eyed Pea Stew

by Sarah on October 13, 2014 · 5 comments

My kitchen is a little excessively stocked with produce. For some reason I haven’t managed to accept the reality that many weeks I eat very few meals at home, and instead rely on chopped veggies, hummus, and crackers that I remembered to bring with me to the office, or handfuls of granola and trail mix that I keep stashed there.

Yet I keep stocking up on Costco-quantities of fruits and vegetables.IMG_20141006_165220

And how can I say no to the farmers’ market? I mean…really.IMG_20141011_074857

So when I found myself with two new eggplants, and a zucchini that I had never managed to cook from the week before, my mind flirted with ratatouille* but then recalled a dish I’d made in Austin but had never made again.

*See: Costco bag of bell peppers that is still unopened in my fridge.IMG_3812 (1280x853)

Not that I ever made many dishes again. Life as a constant blogger means you are constantly trying NEW things.IMG_3722 (1280x853)

But I’m no longer a constant blogger.IMG_3729 (1280x853)

So I no longer have that problem. :) IMG_3747 (1280x853)

This recipe was based on a tagine from the Tastes of Africa cookbook Papa Smart brought me back from Africa a few years ago.IMG_6571 (1280x854)

I left out the mushrooms this time to appease The Professor’s tastebuds.IMG_6575 (1280x854)

[I was already pushing my luck with a stew featuring cinnamon and the new inclusion of black-eyed peas.]IMG_3744 (1280x851)

The black-eyed pea fixation had appeared at some point this week, and I was determined to use the can I had in the pantry. Luckily, I found a recipe for Moroccan Ful Gnaoua that had the same spices…so I knew it had to work.IMG_3753 (1280x853)

And work it did.IMG_3814 (1280x854)

Now, I can’t 100% say the same about the cornbread I made to go with it. But when you substitute corn flour for corn meal, and bananas for applesauce, you’re bound to have slight texture issues.IMG_3807 (1280x852)

It didn’t really matter though, since the cornbread’s sole job was to soak up the subtly spicy stew beside it.

And it did that very, very well. :)

IMG_3808 (1280x853)

North African Black Eyed Pea Stew

(Serves 6-8)

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. minced ginger
  • 2 cups chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 4 cups chopped eggplant (1 medium)
  • 3 cups chopped zucchini (1 large)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 15-oz. can black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14.5-oz can no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika + 2 tsp. sweet paprika (or 1 Tbsp. paprika)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, and onion. Cook until beginning to soften.
  3. Add eggplant, zucchini, and 1/4 cup vegetable broth to the pot. Cover and cook 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add remaining broth, black eyed peas, tomatoes, and all seasonings, except cilantro.
  5. Bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer until everything is cooked through. (Flavor only gets better over the afternoon…so go ahead and turn off the heat and just let it SIT until dinner if you like.)
  7. Stir in cilantro before serving.

When I saw that the theme of the latest Recipe Redux contest, sponsored with the National Pasta Association to celebrate National Pasta Month, was “Pasta Fits,” I knew I had to enter.recipereduxNPA

After all, the one thing I can make that I know The Professor will happily eat–and what only a few days earlier, I can be quoted as saying I’d forgotten how much I loved–is pasta.IMG_3676 (1280x852)

Pasta really DOES fit-–not only into a busy schedule, but into the lives of two people of differing food natures–one adventurous and vegetarian-leaning, the other more satisfied by something hearty, simple, and familiar.Pasta-Fits

Inspired by the idea of combining these two outlooks into one, healthy, comforting dish, I took an old favorite from my vegan days–white bean gravy–and made a twist on traditional pot pie:IMG_3698 (1280x853)

I kept the flavors the same, but changed the mode of delivery.IMG_3638 (1280x853)

After all, making biscuits from scratch requires a whole lot of time I don’t have, and whole wheat pasta is a quicker and healthier (!) base for a myriad of toppings and sauces…IMG_3660 (1280x853)

….so why not pot pie?IMG_3642 (1280x853)

Or should I say….pot pasta?IMG_3702 (1280x853)

[Don't be scared by the list of ingredients for the gravy. It takes all of 10 minutes to make, and can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for a day or two (or probably three). The flavor just gets better with time.]IMG_3619 (1280x853)

White Bean Gravy

(Makes about 2 cups)

  • 1 15.5-oz can great northern (or other white) beans
  • 1 cup vegetable broth*
  • 1 tsp. liquid aminos, soy sauce, or tamari
  • 3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 Tbsp. dried rubbed sage
  • 1/2 Tbsp. dried whole thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 3/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin

*For a thicker gravy, reduce the amount of broth to 1/2 cup and add more if desired. However, if you use it for the full recipe, it will thicken as it cooks.

IMG_3626 (1280x853)

  1. Combine beans, broth, and liquid aminos/soy sauce in a food processor or blender.
  2. Process until smooth.
  3. Add remaining ingredients. Blend well.
  4. Adjust seasonings to taste.IMG_3704 (1280x853)

Pot Pie Pasta

(Serves 4)

  • 1 recipe White Bean Gravy
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1  1/2 cups finely diced button or baby bella mushroms (may substitute 1 8-oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained)
  • s + p
  • 8 oz. whole wheat farfalle (or other wheat pasta of your choice)
  1. Spray carrots and onion with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Roast at 400 degrees until fork tender (about 20 minutes depending on the size of your slices).
  3. Put white bean gravy into a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Stir in mushrooms, peas, and carrots.
  4. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  5. Toss drained pasta in gravy vegetable mixture.
  6. Dig in!


Autumn Squash & Sausage Gumbo

by Sarah on October 6, 2014 · 4 comments

The Professor was a little ‘miffed’ when he read my accusation of the fine cooks in upstate New York  marketing Manhattan Clam Chowder with okra as Seafood Gumbo.IMG_3529 (1280x853)

Well, he’s also going to be miffed that he was out of town when I made a MUCH more accurate version here at home.IMG_3564 (1280x853)

(Especially because I used local pork sausage that he had smoked, and I had frozen, and does incite happy dances on occasion…IMG_3502 (1280x853)

….AND because I finally cooked the brown rice 100% perfectly, with no sticking to the bottom, and no extra water, and just perfect light fluffiness.)IMG_3559 (1280x853)

Now, I’m not saying this is true gumbo, y’all…IMG_3518 (1280x853)

…because if you know me, you know I ain’t got time for no roux.IMG_3522 (1280x853)

But a little can of tomato sauce helps thicken everything up, and the smokiness of the already-cooked sausage helps create a rich flavor, further accentuated by a little help from Tony Chachere.IMG_3507 (853x1280)

I’m also pretty sure most gumbo doesn’t feature roasted autumn/winter/”whatever season it is is what you call it” squash…IMG_3513 (1280x853)

….but I was just so PROUD that I grew this kuri-kabocha-acorn squash hybrid my very own self.

So why the heck not?IMG_3469 (1280x853)

And of course, my proportion of okra to everything else* is also probably a bit skewed.

*10 pieces of okra for every one piece of other vegetable, yes? :) IMG_3490 (1280x853)

(But at least I know The Professor will not be miffed that he missed THAT.)IMG_3562 (1280x853)

Autumn Squash & Sausage Gumbo

  • 1 cup sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 1-2 links smoked* sausage (or vegetarian equivalent), cooked, sliced
  • 8 oz. frozen diced okra (although I add MORE!)
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted, chopped winter squash (acorn, butternut, kabocha, etc.)
  • 1 8-oz. can no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5-oz can fire roasted diced tomatos
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1-3 tsp. favorite Cajun or Creole seasoning (added in increments to your desired level of spice!)

*If you don’t have smoked sausage, I recommend adding some smoked paprika to the pot, as it really adds a depth of flavor you miss by not making a roux.

  1. Heat a bit of olive oil in a stockpot over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and let them start to brown and soften.
  3. Stir in garlic and bell pepper. Cook another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour a bit of vegetable broth into the pan to deglaze.
  5. Add frozen okra and cooked sausage to the pan.
  6. Season with about 1 tsp. Creole seasoning. Stir well.
  7. Cook until okra has lost its iciness. Stir in squash.
  8. Pour in tomatoes, tomato sauce, and vegetable broth.
  9. Season with another 1 tsp. of Creole seasoning.
  10. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  11. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  12. Serve over rice.

As always, this only gets better as the days go by.

[Cue Keith Urban.]IMG_3514 (1280x853)


…But At Least He Cleaned His Plate?

by Sarah on October 3, 2014 · 0 comments

Gotta love when you beautifully execute a number of dinner components—IMG_3212 (1280x853)

—roasting kabocha and sweet potatoes in Cajun seasoning…IMG_3200 (1280x853)

…steaming broccoli…IMG_3210 (1280x854)

…sauteing peppers…IMG_3203 (1280x853)

…and prepping the roasting packets for the fish—IMG_3207 (1280x854)

–to create a composed, restaurant-worthy* dish…

*Well, if everything had managed to actually be finished at the same time, so the potatoes weren’t slightly cold.IMG_3215 (1280x853)

And the only comment you receive is, “Gosh, the rice is good.”IMG_3204 (1280x853)

Which is the one thing you had no hand in truly making.

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But I guess a clean plate still means I must be doing SOMETHING right…

(And that rice IS darn good.)


Spicy Shrimp Cacciatore

by Sarah on October 2, 2014 · 2 comments

One of Mama Smart’s rotation o’ dinners growing up was a Hamburger Helper-like product involving onion and pepper tomato sauce you poured from a jar over chicken, baked in the oven, and served with rice. Which, OK, is not really like Hamburger Helper at all. It was a chicken helper in a jar.IMG_3405 (1280x853)

And although I distinctly remember eating multiple servings (in betwixt practice lip sync session of “Two Princes” by the Spin Doctors in the living room, using the darkened mirrors to check on my performance, which I also, oddly, distinctly remember) I always stumble when trying to remember what that Italian-themed saucy chicken was called.IMG_3386 (1280x853)

I do not know why cacciatore never sticks, but I’ll remember it every now and then when I have a stockpile of peppers, but, like my future as a pop singer, it will vanish into thin air.IMG_3368 (1280x853)

Even this past weekend, when I had planned out dinner, and I’d thought about it,  I’d prepped for it and I arrived home from a long day in the office ready to make this dinner happen in 40 minutes or less*….

*I wish I could be as quick as Rachael Ray, but I like a buffer.IMG_3332 (1280x852)

….I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember what it was called to be able to tell The Professor.IMG_3355 (1280x853)

Shrimp in spicy tomato sauce with, as The Professor noted, “a whole lot of peppers,”* sounds good to me, sure—

*He’s kind of scared of vegetables.

IMG_3377 (1280x853)

—but I felt better once I could more accurately identify it.IMG_3389 (1280x853)

Of course, once I identified it, and researched it, I learned that cacciatore is actually  hunter’s stew, and including shrimp doesn’t really make any kind of historical sense, anyway.IMG_3412 (1280x851)

But to that, I shrug my shoulders and just keep eating….even if tomorrow I probably won’t remember what it was called.IMG_3416 (1280x853)

Shrimp Cacciatore

(Serves 2)

  • 1/2 lb. peeled, deveined shrimp, patted dry and seasoned with Italian or Tuscan seasoning
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 15-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • s + p
  • dried oregano
  • red pepper flakes
  • fresh basil

pasta of your choice, for serving

  1. Sautee garlic and onion in a wee bit of olive oil.
  2. Once browning begins, deglaze pan with red wine. (Drink some as well?)
  3. Add peppers once onion begins to soften.
  4. Cook until peppers are fork tender.
  5. Slide peppers and onions to one side of the pan. Sear shrimp for 2 minutes, but not until cooked through.
  6. Remove shrimp and set aside.
  7. Add tomato sauce  and balsamic vinegar to the pan, stirring well.
  8. Season to taste.
  9. While sauce simmers, cook pasta according to package directions.
  10. For last three minutes of pasta cooking time, add shrimp to sauce, stirring well.
  11. Plate pasta and top with shrimp cacciatore sauce.
  12. Garnish with basil, if desired.