Shrimp, Leek & Spinach Pasta

This recipe was inspired by Real Simple’s pasta recipe (see link at the bottom). I tried the original recipe and it was very bland. This recipe needed to be amped up and I think I found the way: garlic, butter, cheese and wine…gee…all of my favorite things.

The dish is not exactly the most healthy with the cream, butter and cheese but I think it’s a nice balance with the greens and shrimp. It heats up well the next day for lunch at the office. Speaking of the office….my co-workers were not 100% sure about leeks, what they looked like or what they tasted like (or even where to find them in the grocery store), so I put a photo at the bottom of a leek. Always google these things, you’ll learn a lot (and/or call your chef friends or your mama…they know about these things too!)

1 stock pot – big enough to combine everything at the end
1 smaller pot for pasta

1 big knob of butter (aka Kerry Gold, Finlandia or Cabot…the real stuff)
1-2 cloves of garlic chopped (you can sub garlic powder but not ideal)
1 leek, sliced and rinsed (whites and soft light green section) – make sure to rinse well in a colander after being sliced there can be lots of grit in a leek

½ cup of dry white wine
Red pepper flakes to taste (I used about 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon of cornstarch or flour ( I think flour tends to work better)
½ cup of heavy cream
½ cup of parmesan or asiago cheese shredded
1 lemon – juice and zest

1.5-2 pounds of uncooked, de-shelled/veined and tail off shrimp (any medium size will do)

12 cups (or more) of baby spinach, can also use baby kale, arugula or a mix of all three is nice too! I would think asparagus might work well or even zucchini.
¾ box of Barilla Campenelle (Gemelli also works nicely or any shape that has twist to sop up the liquid, Farfalle can also work)

Cook the pasta according to package to ALMOST done, drain and put a light spray of olive oil on while waiting to keep them from sticking

Melt the butter on medium heat, add leeks and garlic, sauté until soft and fragrant
Add in the flour to coat and be extra careful not to burn now that you put flour in the pan
Add in white wine, shrimp, red pepper flakes and lemon (zest and juice) – bring to a low boil to cook the shrimp (it only takes of few minutes for them to become opaque)

Add in your cream and spinach, stirring until everything is combined and the spinach is wilted

Bring the pasta in the big pot and combine everything, add in the cheese and finish with salt and pepper

By Emaly Hunt / @grapesandgarlic on the Instagram /


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