This is one of my favorite recipes for feeding a crowd. It's easy and healthy, but totally filling. The only time consuming element is all the chopping...but once that's done, you pretty much just toss it all in the pan and let the flavors combine! It's an astonishingly forgiving recipe; you really don't have to measure anything...just eyeball it or adjust based on your personal preferences.
Cavatappi with shrimp, veggies, and bacon
- 1/2 lb Cavatappi
- 1/4 lb shrimp, cooked
- 1 1/2 cup baby peas
- 1/8 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
- 1/2 cup diced cherry tomatoes
- 3 slices cooked bacon, chopped (I use Applegate Farms because it's nitrate free)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 TBS capers, rinsed and minced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup roasted red peppers, diced
- ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, dried oregano, and dried basil to taste
- approx. 1/4 cup olive oil
Get a pot of water boiling for your pasta, which you'll add at the end. Pour some of the olive oil into a medium saucepan and heat until shimmering over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and saute till slightly transparent, then turn up the heat and let the edges get a little brown. Add the peas, give them a stir. Now is a good time to add your seasonings; just keep sprinkling and tasting till it tastes right to you! I usually use half a teaspoon pepper flakes, a teaspoon each of oregano and basil, and several generous turns of the pepper grinder.
Now throw in the artichoke hearts, red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, and bacon. Stir it all together, add some more oil if needed (remember, you'll be adding pasta so it will "use up" a lot of the oil as it gets coated). Make sure the heat isn't too high; you don't want the bottom to burn. If it starts to stick or look like it might burn, just splash some white wine in the pan to deglaze it (and then pour yourself a glass!) Now you can cook your pasta; I let it boil for 7 minutes, cook longer if you don't like it al dente.
Lastly, add the bacon, shrimp, fresh cherry tomatoes, and garlic. These don't need to cook much, so by the time the pasta is done they'll be fine. Now drain the pasta, add it to the pan, and stir it all around! Drizzle a little more olive oil if needed (if you're feeling indulgent, white truffle oil REALLY pops the flavors).
You're done! It'll serve at least 4 people, especially with a salad and bread. Enjoy in good health and good company.