Thursday, June 30, 2011

Shrimp and Tomato Linguine Toss with Parmesan-Pepper Biscuits

Recipe modified by You Want Me to Cook? – February 24, 2011
For a commentary-free and printer-friendly version of it, please click here.

Shrimp and Tomato Linguine Toss recipe originally published in Simple & Delicious – December/January 2011.
Parmesan-Pepper Biscuits recipe originally published in Gourmet – October 2008.

So the question has now been answered… no, I haven’t actually fallen off the face of the Earth.  I really hate it when people disappear and when you finally catch up with them they say, “I’ve been really busy.”  Like the rest of us aren’t busy.  All I can say is this… when I started this blog; I was pretty much a housewife occasionally seeing clients out of our home.  I was “busy” but it was busy on my own time and it was much easier to write, cook and photograph food.  It was also a little hard to buy said food since there wasn’t much money coming in.

Then I got a job where I was SUPPOSED to be working 18 hours a week.  It became slightly harder to post every day, but I was managing several posts a week at least.  Suddenly, the 18 hours became 30 hours and I had to drop down to one post a week.  About a month ago, I was promoted and I’ve been working 65+ hours a week for at least the last 3 weeks.

So comparatively speaking, I’ve gotten much busier and that’s why posting has been nonexistent for several weeks now.

Now that I’m working so much, it is pretty hard to cook meals with seafood.  Fish simply tastes better when it’s freshly cooked and I’ve found it makes terrible leftovers.  Therefore, to get my seafood quota, I’ve been making a lot of shrimp.  The Shrimp and Tomato Linguine Toss seemed to hit the spot.  Of course, I wanted to make some bread and the Parmesan-Pepper Biscuits sounded delicious.

My finished meal:
© You Want Me to Cook?
Shrimp & Tomato Linguine Toss with Parmesan-Pepper Biscuits
I was really proud of the way the pasta turned out, although, I think the original picture looked yummier.  Still, it looked yummy enough that I couldn’t wait to eat it.  I was kind of disappointed in the “biscuits”.  I use parentheses because frankly, they weren’t biscuits at all.  They were more like crackers.  Still, expecting something else aside, they still looked and smelled great.


© Taste of Home
Obviously, I used different pasta – wheat.  Their picture just looks more fresh and light with a tad bit more color since they used the fresh basil on their dish.  There was no picture for the biscuits, which was a big reason why I didn’t realize they weren’t fluffy bread.  Of course, had I read the ingredient listing a little more closely, I still wouldn’t have made that mistake.
See, when I don’t follow my own rules, bad things happen.

for more details about what my ratings mean, go to Gretchen’s Rating System

MessEH – there’s nothing too overwhelming, just a lot of “stuff”.  I was truly concerned about rolling the dough for the biscuits causing a lot of mess and trouble.  I figured out a way to keep some of the mess to a minimum which I’ll share with you below.

Start-to-Finish Time: CLOSE TO TWO HOURS – The big time hog here is having the chill the biscuit roll.  It still would have taken over an hour had I not had that component.

Prep Work: SLIGHT BLOOD LOSS – I desperately was trying to avoid having to clean a pound of shrimp, but I couldn’t find any pre-cleaned & shelled at the seafood counter.  Bummer.  That was really the only prep work I had to worry about.

Ease of Recipe: THE BASICS – You have to use a food processor, but just the basic functionality of it.  The rest is sauté, boil, slice, etc…

OverallNOT BAD – It was good, but very similar to some of the other tomato pasta dishes I’ve made.  The biscuits/crackers were tasty, but I didn’t necessarily feel they were worth the effort.

Recipe Information:
I am not a doctor or dietician.  I make my nutritional assessments with the aid of Calorie Count.  I run the original recipe and my altered recipe through their calorie counter and then compute the differences I find.  My numbers are to be used as a guideline.  Anyone who is under dietary medical supervision should follow the advice of their medical professional if their opinion differs from mine.  PLEASE!

Total Time: 2 hours
Active Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 pasta / 20 crackers

The timing of the recipes wasn’t that far off.  The parmesan-pepper biscuits were almost right on the nose.  The shrimp and tomato linguine toss was fairly accurate, although it didn’t take into account the time it took to prepare the ingredients and get the water to boil.  Here is my timing:

Parmesan-Pepper Biscuits
  • Prep: None
  • Start-to-Chill: 13 minutes
  • Chill: 1 hour
  • Finish: 4 minutes
  • Bake: 17 minutes
Shrimp & Tomato Linguine Toss
  • Pasta Water (5 quarts) to Boil:  12 minutes
  • Prep Time: 8 minutes (done while water was being heated)
  • Cook Pasta: 12 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
Now, the pasta was originally supposed to serve three.  I didn’t want to only use a partial pound of shrimp so I roughly doubled the recipe.  Therefore the serving size increased to 6.  As far as serving size goes, that will give you 6 healthy servings.  I actually got 27 biscuits out of the recipe and it is 29 if you count the ends, so slightly more than the recipe stated.  Serve both with a nice salad and you’ve got a great meal.

Nutritional Information (Shrimp & Tomato Linguine Toss ONLY – 1 1/3 cups)
  • Calories 376
  • Total Fat 10g (Saturated Fat 3g)
  • Cholesterol 71mg
  • Sodium 611mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 51g
  • Fiber 4g
  • Protein 20g
I beefed up the fiber and lowered the carbohydrate number by using whole grain pasta.  You probably notice that the sodium is a little high… I sure did!  A lot of the sodium comes from the canned tomatoes, so I’ve been doing a little research and found an organic canned tomato that had 10% less sodium than regularly canned tomatoes.  So that number was lowered a little and every little bit helps, right?

Of course, the nutritional information was missing from Epicurious (aka Gourmet).  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it probably isn’t all that healthy.  It does use a cup of cheese and half of a stick of butter.  Never fear, if you only eat a couple biscuits/crackers at a time, it will make a nice little treat instead of a diet-busting indulgence.

After putting my changes into my calorie counter, I got the following nutritional information:

Shrimp & Tomato Linguine (per serving)
  • Calories 392
  • Calories from Fat 103
  • Total Fat 11.4g (Saturated Fat 4.4g)
  • Cholesterol 94mg
  • Sodium 633mg
  • Total Carbohydrates 52.3g
  • Dietary Fiber 7.4g
  • Sugars 7.1g
  • Protein 21.6g
  • Nutrition Grade C+
Parmesan-Pepper Biscuits (3 crackers per serving)
  • Calories 109
  • Total Fat 7.4g (Saturated Fat 4.5g)
  • Cholesterol 43mg
  • Sodium 113mg
  • Total Carbohydrates 7.4g
  • Protein 3.3g
  • Nutrition Grade C+

Changes denoted by red text

Parmesan-Pepper Biscuits:
© You Want Me to Cook?
Parmesan-Pepper Biscuits
1 cup shredded Romano Cheese (2 ounces)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided

Shrimp and Tomato Linguine Toss:
Remember, I doubled the recipe so I will only be commenting on the different ingredients I used.

1 pound uncooked whole grain linguine
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) petite diced green chile Tomatoes , undrained
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
© You Want Me to Cook?
Shrimp & Tomato Linguine Toss
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 dashes pepper
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Additional minced fresh basil, optional

Ingredient Notes:
Romano Cheese – The recipe originally called for Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino-Romano cheese.  Pecorino-Romano is Romano cheese that is made from sheep’s milk.  Do I know if my Romano cheese was from a sheep?  No.  Do I necessarily care?  Not really.  I figured I got close enough.

© You Want Me to Cook?
Bummer - I liked that dish
Egg Yolk – you’re probably wondering why I’ve got anything to say about an egg yolk.  It isn’t that I’ve got earth-shattering information on eggs or an easy way to separate egg yolks from egg whites.  I just thought I’d mention to be really careful while transporting the eggs… especially after you’ve got slimy egg white all over your hands.


Whole Grain Linguine – the original recipe called for regular linguine.  Now granted, whole grain pasta takes double the time to cook, but since it is higher in fiber and natural B vitamins, it is worth the extra effort.

Large Shrimp – the recipe originally called for medium size shrimp, but I decided to go for the large ones instead.  The large shrimp are designated as 26-30ct so anything smaller would have a higher number range.

Petite Diced Green Chile Tomatoes – the original recipe called for fire-roasted, but I searched high-and-low to no avail.  So I looked around and found spicy green chile tomatoes.  Believe me, they had some kick, so I don’t think I was missing anything here

Diced Tomatoes – so when I was doubling the recipe, I came across the issue of having 2 full cans of very spicy tomatoes in it.  Now, I don’t fear heat, but I am kind of a wimp, so I decided to make the second can of tomatoes regular diced.  I’m confident this was a good choice.

Dried Basil – the original recipe said I could use minced fresh or dried.  Dried was the easy go-to for this recipe.

Equipment Needed:
© You Want Me to Cook?
Parmesan-Pepper Biscuits
Food Processor
Parchment Paper
Baking Sheet
Flexible Spatula
Cooling Rack

© You Want Me to Cook?
Shrimp & Tomato Linguine Toss
Pasta Pot
Wooden Spoon
Dutch Oven / Large Skillet
Large Spoon
"Garbage" Bowl (shrimp shells)

Equipment Notes:
Food Processor – Ordinarily for small amounts, I’d say you could use a blender or mini-chop, but there are a lot of ingredients and it really made my food processor work… hard.  I think it would probably kill a blender and I don’t think there would be enough room in a mini-chop.

Parchment Paper – parchment paper is a heavy paper that is the expensive sibling to waxed paper.  Of course, it is worth the extra money when you are dealing with sticky and gooey ingredients or baked goods.  Apparently some people use paper bags, but they can catch on fire and can be treated with chemicals, so I wouldn’t advise it.  If you only have waxed paper on hand, you need to grease it before adding the ingredients.

Ruler – I have a measuring disorder, especially when it comes to determining small sizes.  Therefore, a ruler came in really handy to measure the biscuit size.

Flexible Spatula – a flexible spatula is great for delicate food like pastries or breaded eats/fish/poultry.  And the biscuits are definitely delicate!  If you don’t have one, definitely pick one up!

Wire Racks – wire/cooling racks are a necessity since they allow the heat and steam to escape from the food evenly and from all areas.  If the biscuits are left on the baking sheet they are baked on, the steam and heat has nowhere to go but back into it, which could make them soggy.  Also, it helps them to cool faster, which is kinda nice if you’re like me and can’t wait to eat them.

Dutch Oven / Large Skillet – the original recipe called for a large skillet, but I used my Dutch oven.  You can use a large skillet, but make sure your skillet is large and deep enough to hold 30 ounces of tomatoes and juice.  If it isn’t and doesn’t, use your Dutch oven instead.

Garbage Bowl – Let me tell you a little bit about the miracle that is the garbage bowl.  I love the fact that I don’t have to try to hold the garbage can open while I’m chopping and peeling.  As I said before, I laughed when I first read this tip from Good Housekeeping, but it really is a time and life saver.

(1)  Make the biscuits:
(a)  Pulse cheese with butter in a food processor until combined.
(b)  Add flour, yolk, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, then pulse until a dough forms.

Once I got all the ingredients initially combined, the mixture looked mealy.  It kinda worried me, to be honest. 

Undeterred, I continued on and the mixture eventually turned into bigger chunks and smeared all over the sides and bottom.  I started feeling better and decided to scrape the sides. 

I kept pulsing and it eventually grew into a ball.  This development surprised me.  I had no idea it would go from a cornmeal-like mixture to a dough-log in a short amount of time.  At this point, I should have stopped, but I couldn’t wait to see what happened next, so I kept pulsing the dough.  Yeah, bad move.  It overheated my food processor.

What can I say?  I was curious what would happen.  In this case, curiosity didn’t kill the cat, but it came darn close to killing my food processor.
(c)  On a piece of parchment paper, roll the dough into a 6-inch log (1 1/2 inches thick). Wrap in parchment paper and chill until firm, at least 1 hour.

© You Want Me to Cook?
Parmesan-Pepper Biscuits - dough log
The recipe didn’t say to roll the “log” on the parchment paper, but I hate scraping dough off my counter.  I decided to do it that way so I could just throw the sticky parchment paper away instead of cleaning up the mess.  Surprisingly, it didn’t stick to the paper at all (go figure) and I was able to reuse the parchment paper to wrap up the dough to chill.

(2)  Prepare oven and start pasta:
(a)  Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
(b)  Start water boiling and then prep the ingredients.
(3)  Finish and bake biscuits:
(a)   Cut log into 1/4-inch-thick slices and arrange 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
(b)   Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
(c)  Bake until golden, about 17 minutes. Cool to warm on a rack.
(4)  Make the shrimp & pasta:
(a)   Cook linguine according to package directions.
(b)   Meanwhile, in a Dutch Oven, heat the oil.

I’ll admit, I didn’t heat the oil first.  I was cooking the shrimp for about 3 minutes on medium and realized they weren’t cooking at all – just absorbing the oil.  So I jacked it up to Medium-High and finished the cooking.

© You Want Me to Cook?
Shrimp & Tomato Linguine Toss - saute
(c)  Cook shrimp and garlic in oil over medium heat until shrimp turn pink, about 8 minutes.

(d)  Add the tomatoes, basil and pepper. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.
(e)  Drain linguine; toss with tomato mixture.
(f)  Sprinkle with feta and additional basil if desired.


I will admit that I’m glad I didn’t use 2 cans of fire hot tomatoes.  I really thought it had a great kick without it.  However, if you like it spicy then go for it!  Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.  As I was sprinkling the feta on the pasta, I thought it was a weird choice, but the creamy & saltiness of the cheese worked well with the heat & minimally seasoned the dish.

Again, I’d definitely heat the oil first prior to adding the shrimp & garlic.  Then you can keep the oil at a medium temperature and cook it slowly.  Other than that, I think you’ll enjoy the ease of this dish along with its yummy taste.

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