Chef Andy: Pasta Abbondanza is a quick hybrid dish
By Andy Mueller
As the chilly winds continue to blow, I crave comfort foods.
Something hearty and delicious that can fill you up, keep you warm and doesn’t take all day to simmer in a crock pot.
I love slow-cooked soups and stews, but if my schedule doesn’t permit the time needed to make it, I need a quick comfort fix, and pasta is the perfect choice.
Pasta Abbondanza is a hybrid of sorts as it combines the richness of an Alfredo sauce and the brightness of a marinara sauce to give you the best of both worlds.
Sometimes Alfredo sauce can be a bit much after a few bites simply because of how rich white sauces can be.
When you combine butter, flour, cream and cheese together, you expect that.
But the addition of a red sauce will cut through that richness and open up a new flavor profile with tremendous depth and harmony.
Prep time is about 15 minutes and cook time is about 10 minutes, so you can have this on the table in less than 30 minutes.
I call it Pasta Abbondanza because its Italian meaning is “abundant, plentiful and richness,” – all good things in the world of food.
This one features hot Italian sausage and shrimp, but you could make it with chicken, just make sure you allow a few more minutes of saute time to make sure it’s fully cooked.
You can adjust the heat to whatever level you like with the addition of red pepper flakes and Sriracha, but as is, this is about a medium on the heat scale.
Try this fast and easy comfort dish that wakes up your palate and warms you to the bone.
In a saute pan over medium high heat add:
• 1 tablespoon olive oil.
When oil is hot add:
• 6 large shrimp (peeled and deveined).
• 1/2 cup cooked hot Italian sausage, and cut into bite size pieces.
• A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
Cook for 1 minute then turn the shrimp over, immediately add:
• 1/4 cup dry white wine.
• 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic.
• 1/8 teaspoon chicken base (paste).
Let cook for 1 minute then add:
• 1 cup heavy cream.
• 1/4 cup marinara sauce (substitute your favorite red sauce).
• 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce.
• 2 cups cooked penne pasta.
Bring to a simmer, turn heat to medium low then add:
• 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Gently stir, cheese will thicken the sauce as it melts.
As soon as the sauce is thickened, toss in a handful of fresh baby spinach or arugula, serve in a bowl and garnish with grated Parmesan and chopped Peppadew/piquante peppers.
Chef Andy Mueller is owner/chef of Galley 57 Supper Club in Bellevue – galley57.com.