Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ditali and Shrimp with Portobello, Chinese Garlic Chive Crème and Tomato Concassé

     A Nice Simple Ditali Pasta! 
     France and America seem to use cream for pasta sauces more than any other countries.  Since cream sauces for pasta do not have to adhere to traditional pasta sauce rules, there is plenty of room for creativity.  Cream has a way of carrying a featured flavor.  Cream can also become muddied up with too many flavors.  Simplicity is a good thing to keep in mind when creating a cream sauce for pasta.
     Garlic Crème is an standard sauce that is well liked.  For today's sauce, Chinese Garlic Chives were used in place of garlic.  Chinese Garlic Chives are not a hybrid of regular chives!  Chinese Garlic Chives are the green tops of a garlic plant or Chinese Leek Plant.  Chinese Leeks do not the common leek that can be found in French kitchens.  Chinese Leek Bulbs are just a little bigger than a large garlic clove.
     The Chinese Garlic Chive variety that I used for today's sauce came from the garlic plant.  Chinese garlic chives have a gentle mellow garlic flavor that is nice for flavoring a cream pasta sauce.  
     Portobello Mushrooms taste nice with Chinese garlic chives and they add rich flavor to the cream sauce.  The shrimp add a little bit of flavor to the sauce too.  Instead of simply adding tomato to the cream sauce, the tomato was prepared as a concasse, so a fresh bright flavor would lighten up this pasta entrée.               

     Ditali and Shrimp with Portobello, Chinese Garlic Chive Crème and Tomato Concassé:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     The simple cream reduction sauce can be made while the pasta cooks if the ingredients are prepared ahead of time!
     Step 1:  Cook 1 portion of ditali pasta in boiling water, tills the pasta is al dente.  Start the sauce!
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
     Add 3 or 4 small portabella mushrooms that are cut into small wedges.
     Sauté till the mushrooms start to cook.
     Step 3:  Dredge 12 medium size peeled and deveined shrimp in flour.  (Remove the shrimp tails.)
     Add the floured shrimp to the pan.
     Sauté till the mushrooms start to become tender and till the shrimp are a little bit more than halfway fully cooked.
     Step 4:  Add 2 ounces of dry white wine.
     Add 1 cup of cream.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Add 2 to 3 pinches of cracked black pepper.
     Add sea salt.
     Simmer and reduce the cream sauce, till it is a thin sauce consistency.
     Step 5:  Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of garlic chives that are cut into 3/8" lengths.
     Simmer and reduce, till the sauce becomes a medium thin consistency.  (Add a splash of milk if the sauce becomes too thick.)
     Step 6:  *By now the ditali pasta should be al dente.
     Drain the water off of the pasta.
     Add the pasta to the sauce.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Step 7:  Place the pasta in a shallow pasta bowl.
     Sprinkle 1 plum tomato that is prepared as concassé over the pasta.  (Concassé Precision Cut = peeled, seeded, tomato filets that are diced.  Dice = 1/4" cube shape.)
     Garnish with a sprig of Italian Parsley.
     Garnish with Chinese Garlic Chive Flowers.  (optional)

     The flavor of this pasta entree is gentle and nice!

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