I always tell people that I cook to survive and I don't necessarily worry about presentation. This dish, however, presents itself quite nicely without me trying to make it look presentable - it's colorful but in a clean way. When I say this, I mean that the dish doesn't appear overly saucy.
If you're interested in learning this recipe, read on!
Cook time: Approximately 20-30 minutes
- 1 package of spaghetti noodles (you can use thin spaghetti, angel hair, fettucini, etc.)
- 1 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 5-8 cloves of garlic, minced
- 5 oz (equivalent to 1 pack) shiitake mushrooms (although any mushrooms will do), washed and chopped
- 2 tablespoon chives
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
- Half a package of jumbo prawns/shrimp) - de-veined and easy peel
- 2-3 tbs olive oil
- 1 bottle of Italian dressing
- Sea Salt and cracked pepper to taste
Also, wash all produce (aside from garlic) before prepping and cooking!
Mince your garlic, halve your tomatoes, chop your mushrooms, chives and cilantro leaves (leave these last 2 for later).
Follow directions on your pasta package. I add a handful of salt and about 2 tbs of olive oil into my pasta water before bringing to a boil. Then I add my pasta, occasionally stirring. I cook for 7-10 mins until it's al dente (somewhere between cooked and uncooked). Then I drain into a colander when finished, awaiting to be mixed with the rest of the ingredients.
I have another pot going for the shrimp, just covered enough in water until it comes to a boil. When you see that it's boiling, turn the heat down so the water doesn't overflow. However, you still want to keep your eye on the pot. Turn the heat down even further and stir the pot to calm the bubbles down if they start to look like they're going to get out of control.
When cooked, shrimp will turn orange, shrink down in size, and meat will become opaque. Drain the cooked water and cover the cooked shrimp with cool water to cool down. Have a helper or two peel the shrimp and place in a separate bowl (to be added to the ingredients later).
In yet another pan (we use a wok because of how deep it is), add your oil and garlic. Bring to sizzle. Stir about 1 minute, then add your tomatoes and saute until they're partially reduced (they become halfway mushy - you'll know because they tomatoes loose their shape). Add your shiitake mushrooms and stir for about 2-3 mins or until soft. Turn heat to low.
Grab your Italian dressing and add 1/2 - the full bottle right into the wok. Add as much (or as little) to your liking. Add salt and pepper to taste. Though, you'll find you don't need to add much salt.