I've mentioned before that I'm not a huge seafood fan, so when my friend, Jeanne, made Cheesy Shrimp Pasta for a get-together this past weekend, I was not expecting to eat any.
Joseph got a plate-full of the shrimp casserole and sat down next to me on the couch.
I wasn't even curious about the meal until everyone in the room began to ooh and aah over it.
Even Grace, who said, Can my have some more, Daddy? I asked for a taste of Joe's, and he gave me two noodles.
They were fabulous. I asked for a second taste, and he told me to get my own.
So I did.
When I was done, I wanted to get another plate, but I abstained, hoping there would be leftovers when we visited later in the week. I can't even begin to tell you how delicious and wonderful this recipe is.
It's better than words can explain.
Cheesy Shrimp Pasta
Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain.
Saute shrimp and garlic in olive oil until shrimp is just pink. If you overcook the shrimp, it will become rubbery and tough. Two or three minutes will probably be enough.
Cube the Velveeta and place it in a microwave-safe bowl. Pour the salsa on top. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, until the cheese is melted. Stir cheese and salsa together.
In an oven-safe bowl, combine the pasta, shrimp, cheese mixture, and mushrooms. Toss to coat.
Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese over the top of the pasta and cook for 45-60 minutes, until the top is browned and crunchy.
You need to cook this casserole in a bowl-shaped dish. If you use a 9x13 or 8x8 flat dish, the noodles will dry out in about 30 minutes. Not really the texture you're looking for.
I'm going to add a bunch of fresh veggies - carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, and lots of onion. Jeanne suggested that I might add more cheese, but I'm also going to try adding milk to see how that works.
You could vary the spiciness of this dish by using mild, medium, or hot salsa, or even different varieties of salsa. Joe, Jeanne, and I were brainstorming about this recipe, and all of the different things we could do with it.
Joe suggested making it like a jambalaya, with a mix of shrimp, chicken, and sausage. I thought it was good with the shrimp, but I think it would also be really nice with shredded chicken or even shredded pork.
As Jeanne prepared it (using the recipe above), 1/10 of the finished casserole contains about 350 calories.
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