Saturday, April 9, 2011

Shrimp Fra Diavolo and Pasta with Pancetta

One of the things I love the most is a really delicious Italian meal. Gluten free pasta can be a bit tricky to get a texture and flavor that resembles "the bad stuff" but this rendition of a few Giada de Laurentiis recipes turned out so good..I literally forgot it was gluten free.

1. Shrimp Fra Diavolo:

a. Clean and peel 1 pound of shrimp (I used a medium size raw shrimp) and toss in a bowl with 1 tsp. of salt and 1 tsp. of dried crushed red pepper flakes.

b. Next, in a large heavy skillet (I like a well seasoned cast iron skillet) heat up 2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil over a medium-high heat.

c. Add the shrimp and saute them until they are opaque and cooked through..about 2 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set them aside and keep warm.

d. Add 1 medium sweet onion (I used a Vidalia..finely chopped) to the skillet and saute until the onion is translucent..about 5 minutes.

e. Add a 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes with juices, 1 cup of red wine (I used a robust Chianti), 2 minced cloves of garlic, 1/2 tsp. of dried oregano and 1/2 tsp. of dried basil.

f. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the sauce until it loses some of the moisture and starts to thicken..(called reduction of the sauce)..about 10 minutes.

g. Return the shrimp to the pan and toss them in the sauce to coat. Add a few Tbs. of minced fresh flat-leaf parsley and season with salt and cracked black pepper to taste.

2. The Pasta (my favorite part of this meal):

a.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add 1 pound of medium (I used a penne) gluten free pasta (I used brown rice Tinkyada brand pasta). Make sure you cook the pasta according to the package directions and watch it closely. You want the texture to be al dente..cooked through but still firm.

b. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat up 2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil with 1 Tbs. of minced garlic over medium high heat.

c. Add 1 cup of chopped pancetta (make sure it is gluten free..mine was from Trader Joes) and saute until the pancetta is cooked through and starting to crisp.

d. Make 1 cup of gluten free bread crumbs from gluten free older bread (I used a Cuisinart food processor). I also added a 1/4 tsp. each of garlic powder, dried oregano and dried basil to make the bread crumbs "Italian style".

e. Add the bread crumbs to the pan and cook in the pancetta drippings (OMG so good)!!!!! Cook for 2 minutes until the bread crumbs are starting to brown and get toasty.

f. Remove the pan from the heat and add in 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with some minced fresh parsley if you would like.

3. Spicy Green Beans:

a. Steam 1 pound of fresh green beans just until the color bursts..again you want them cooked but crisp.

b. Heat 2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the green beans.

c. Saute them for about 3 minutes with 1/2 tsp of dried pepper flakes (you can adjust the spiciness according to your taste, 1 minced garlic clove and 1/8 tsp of salt.

Here is to good Italian food that does not hurt your body! xo

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