Nutty Pasta Toss with Shrimp

Nutty Pasta Toss with Shrimp (recipe modified slightly from Cooking Light's recipe found HERE.)
  • 1 lb rigatoni pasta
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter 
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil 
  • 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (use more if you'd like more protein!!) **
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into (1/4-inch) strips 
  • 5 oz fresh spinach 
Cook rigatoni according to package instructions and return hot pasta to stock pot.  Meanwhile, whisk together next 9 ingredients (cilantro through sesame oil) in medium bowl.  Heat vegetable oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add shrimp and sautee until pink, about 3 minutes.  Remove shrimp and set aside.  Add onion & red pepper to the pan and sautee for about 5 minutes, until tender.  Add soy sauce mixture, shrimp, and spinach to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes until spinach wilts.  Pour shrimp mixture over hot pasta and serve immediately.

**can substitute chicken for shrimp and increase cooking time to cook chicken through.

NOTES: My best friend here in Winston made this for me a few month's ago.  She had been talking about this nutty pasta dish forever.  I pictured something with a peanut sauce and some long, thin noodles, so I was surprised to see the rigatoni.  What a perfect pasta for this dish, though!  The grooves catch all of the delicious sauce.  I will say that this was a bigger hit for me and my husband than with the kids, but one child ate all of the noodles while the other ate all of the shrimp.  I'll call it a win ;)

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