Monday, May 7, 2012

Shrimp and Tortellini with Arrabiata sauce

If you like spicy foods and shrimp then this recipe is for you! Arrabiata means "angry" in Italian. This is a marinara sauce on steroids. It gets its flavor by slowly simmering red hot pepper flakes with the garlic, olive oil, and diced tomatoes.

 Hot peppers are a great source of vitamins and minerals if you can handle their heat. Red hot pepper flakes also contain capsaicin, a compound found in several varieties of hot peppers. This is a known antioxidant which may help reduce inflammation and kill cancer cells. Using hot peppers may also help you control your portions (eating less spicy food to decrease heat sensitivity). So sprinkle away!

I served this dish with a balsamic and Parmesan kale, which was phenomenal! The recipe is also below! Nutrition bonus: Kale is a good source of Folate, Vitamin K, and Calcium!

Shrimp and Tortellini with Arrabiata sauce 
Makes 4 servings

1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced onion
16 oz can of diced tomatoes, low sodium
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp each: dried basil, oregano, thyme
8 oz frozen shrimp, thawed
8 oz package of cheese tortellini
Parmesan cheese, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and spices and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook additional 10 minutes.

Cook pasta as directed. Serve sauce and shrimp over tortellini. Top with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Nutrition Facts: 1/2 cup pasta with sauce and 5 shrimp
310 calories, 35 g carbohydrates, 23 g protein, 8 g fat, 4 g fiber, 410 mg sodium

Balsamic and Parmesan Kale
Serve 4

4 cups kale, cleaned and chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
Pepper, to taste

Heat oil and garlic in a saucepan. Add kale and vinegar, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Sprinkle Parmesan on top and cook additional minutes. Serve hot.

Nutrition Facts: 1 cup
40 calories, 6 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein, 2 g fat, 2 g fiber

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