The other day, after a full day of testing recipes (mostly desserts), all of a sudden I realized I forgot to make dinner. It was 7 o’clock in the evening and I was way too tired to make something that would take a long time. Quite honestly, I didn’t feel like spending more time in the kitchen.
Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking, but I can’t say that cleaning afterwards is my favorite thing in the world. Being a food blogger, you spent a lot of time doing the dishes. And after a while, it gets to a point where you just need a break. However on that evening, me feeling that way didn’t change the fact that I had to make dinner before it got too late.
So with the intent of making something quick, I opened the fridge to figure out what to cook. I had some shrimp, a bunch of kale, and some leftover ricotta cheese that I had made a day before for a cake recipe that I have been working on.
Since pasta is my go-to quick dish, I put a large pot of water on the stovetop. While that was boiling, I quickly washed the kale and roughly chopped it into smaller pieces. Before I put the pasta into the now-boiling water, I put the kale in it for only 30 seconds, just to soften it a little bit. I took it out of the water with a large slotted spoon, and put it aside. I quickly added the rigatoni in the water.
While it was cooking, I shelled, deveined, and generously seasoned the shrimp. At first, I was going to cook it on the stovetop, but then I decided that it would be easier if I were to roast it in the oven.
I do not know what’s your favorite way of cooking shrimp, but I love roasting it in the oven. Because (1) it happens quickly, (2) the heat in the oven cooks it evenly, and (3) it doesn’t require me to attend to it while it is roasting. The only thing I do is to flip them halfway through the process to ensure even cooking.
In a little more than 10 minutes, both the rigatoni and the shrimp were ready. All I had to do was to make a quick sauce. To do that, I heated the ricotta cheese in the same pot that I made the pasta in. As I love the lemon flavor with shrimp dishes, I added the zest and juice of a lemon into the sauce. Before the cheese completely melted, I stirred in the kale and the roasted shrimp into the lemon and ricotta cheese mixture. After I added the rigatoni and Parmesan cheese, we ended up with a delicious meal.
So if you ever feel the same way and find yourself looking for a quick meal, I recommend giving this recipe a try.
Roasted Shrimp and Kale Rigatoni with Lemon-Ricotta Sauce
- 1 pound (21-25) frozen shrimp, defrosted, shelled, and deveined
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5-6 cups kale leaves, washed &dried – roughly chopped
- 1 pound rigatoni
- 11/2 cup ricotta cheese, preferably homemade
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Salt and pepper
- Heat the oven to 400 F degrees.
- Place the shrimp on a sheet pan in a single layer. Drizzle it with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Roast for 8 minutes or until it turns just pink and firm, flipping halfway through the roasting process. Set aside.
- In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the roughly chopped kale, and let it cook for 30 seconds. Scoop them out using a large slotted spoon and place in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Cook the rigatoni according to the package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta liquid. Lightly rinse the cooked rigatoni and set aside. Do not wash the pot.
- Heat the ricotta cheese in the same pot until warm, or 45 seconds in medium heat, stirring constantly. Add the garlic and cook until it is wilted, 30-45 seconds. (Be careful, garlic burns easily!)
- Stir in the kale, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Cook, stirring constantly until all the kale leaves are coated with the ricotta cheese, 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the shrimp and rigatoni. Toss gently, making sure that they are all coated with the ricotta cheese and kale mixture. At this point, if needed, you can use some of the reserved pasta liquid to prevent the pasta from getting sticky.
- Taste for seasoning and add if necessary.
- Sprinkle it generously with Parmesan cheese, and serve immediately in large bowls.
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