This Shrimp, Spinach and Goat Cheese Penne is not only an easy and delicious option for a weeknight dinner but also makes an excellent main for a dinner party.
Course Main Course
Prep Time 15minutes
Cook Time 20minutes
Total Time 35minutes
Servings 4to 6
Author Sweet and Savoury Pursuits
1lb.raw shrimppeeled and deveined, 21 to 25 per pound
1tsp.extra-virgin olive oil
3/4tsp.finely grated lemon zest
1lb.penne pastaor pasta of choice
1tbsp.extra-virgin olive oil
2cupschopped leekswhite and light green parts only
4cupspacked baby spinach
1/4cupdry white winesuch as Pinot Grigio
3/4cupgoat cheesecrumbled (you can add more if you like the pasta extra creamy)
1/2tsp.saltmore to taste
1/2tsp.freshly ground peppermore to taste
1/4tsp.freshly grated nutmegoptional
crushed chili flakesto your liking (optional)
Extra goat cheeseif desired
Toss the shrimp with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, the grated lemon zest and 1/4 tsp. each of the salt and pepper. Marinate for 20 minutes.
In a large dry skillet toast the pine nuts until fragrant and golden coloured. Remove from skillet.
Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; when it's at a roiling boil, add the pasta and cook according to package directions.
In skillet, over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon each of the butter and olive oil. Add leeks and cook for a couple of minutes, add garlic and keep cooking until leeks soften and just start to colour, about 5-6 minutes, season with 1/2 tsp. of salt and pepper and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg (if using). Transfer to bowl and reserve.
In the same skillet over medium heat, add the shrimp and cook until just opaque, about 1 minute on each side. Transfer shrimp to bowl.
Pour the white wine into the skillet, scraping any browned bits of food from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted, about 1-2 minutes.
When pasta is cooked, drain it reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid.
Add the drained pasta, leeks and the reserved shrimp to the skillet; stir to combine. Add the goat cheese and enough of the reserved cooking liquid to make a sauce that lightly coats the pasta. Let simmer over low heat for 2 minutes to finish the shrimp and let the flavours meld. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
Add the pine nuts, additional goat cheese if desired and serve with crushed chili flakes on the side.
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