In the summer, I like to use as much fresh produce as possible when I cook and take advantage of the growing season. This is a garden fresh dish that is satisfying, yet simple.
3/4 box spaghetti or soba noodles (I have a hard time finding soba noodles where I live, so I generally use spaghetti noodles and it works just fine.)
1 bunch celery (ends trimmed off & discarded, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks)
1/2 pint button mushrooms, sliced (or you can use canned mushrooms if you can't find nice fresh ones) (optional)
1 scallion, diced
4 - 5 oz. fresh sugar snap peas, sliced lengthwise into strips
1/3 lb. shrimp, cooked, peeled & deveined (It's ok to cheat and get the frozen ones already cooked & cleaned for you.)
2 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons salted butter
1. Boil a VERY large pot full of salted water and cook pasta according to package directions.
2. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the celery, mushrooms, sugar snap peas, and shrimp to the pasta in the boiling water. This process lets you unfreeze your frozen shrimp and/or warm them up if you need to.
3. When the pasta is al dente, drain the entire contents of the pot into a colander. Do not rinse.
4. Place everything in a large bowl and mix in the butter and Parmesan cheese.
5. Serve on plates and garnish with scallions.
Serves 4 - 5.
It's really easy to turn this dish vegetarian. Just omit the shrimp and add more veggies!
If you have any leftovers, you can refrigerate them for up to two days and everything will still be fresh because the vegetables were blanched in the boiling water during the cooking process, and they will retain their color.
I really have developed an appreciation for tender-crisp cooked celery. You normally wouldn't think of adding it to a dish, but I think it has potential. Blanching or sauteing bite size pieces of it softens it slightly and sweetens the flavor.