Thanks to the folks from Dreamfields Pasta for collaborating on this post about low fat Penne a la Vodka Sauce with Shrimp. All the opinions expressed are 100% my own. #HealthyPastaMonth #Dreamfields
My kids have grown accustomed to eating pasta at least once a week. If all the stars align and we are able to have a Sunday Pasta night, it is a great way to start the week together. Since I am Italian, I usually make a red sauce or gravy, but I like to get a little creative as well. The sauces I make are typically healthy and not full of fat. I usually avoid fatty creamy pasta sauces but I decided to create a healthier Penne with Vodka Sauce with a shrimp. Since traditional pasta does not provide much nutrition, I made this an even healthier pasta dish by using Dreamfields Pasta.
Dreamfields Pasta has 5 grams of dietary fiber per serving—that’s 2.5 times more than traditional pasta. Dreamfields Pasta also contains prebiotic fiber that helps promote healthy digestion. Most importantly, it tastes as good as traditional pastas and provides healthy carb living.
To create this flavorful and healthy pasta dish, you need to start with the sauce. (If you plan on eating right away, you can have water on the stove heating up to boil the pasta.)
Every good pasta dish begins with a generous amount of sautéed onions and garlic. My family usually comes running when they get a whiff of that familiar smell. The trick is to first cook down the onions and then add the garlic. Too often people add them at the same time and end up with burnt garlic… a great way to ruin a dish.
When the onions are translucent, add the can of crushed tomatoes. Buy the best tomatoes you can afford. I usually buy Italian plum and buy in bulk when on sale.
Now for the transformation from a typical red sauce to a creamy yet healthy pasta dish: The cream. Well in this case, we are using 2% milk instead of heavy cream.
This is a good time to begin cooking your pasta if you plan on eating right away. Dreamfields pasta has several different varieties to choose from, but tonight, we went with the Penne. You don’t want to add your shrimp until you are just about ready to indulge!
Unlike some “healthier” pastas, Dreamfields’ shape and color resemble traditional varieties. My family would always prejudge the pasta dish if the noodles were dark brown in color. I guess I don’t blame them.
When your pasta is almost fully cooked, you can add your shrimp. With the addition of the shrimp you are adding more protein making this pasta dish low fat and full of protein. Be sure to cover the pot to steam the shrimp. Then add your pasta and mix it well.
Serve with extra basil and grated cheese.
Your family will be begging for more!
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A lower fat vodka sauce recipe with added shrimp for extra protein
- 1 box Dreamfields Penne Rigate
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 can 14 ounces no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves sliced or 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup vodka
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp about 21 to 25 count
- 1/8 to 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
- Grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
- Chopped fresh basil
Heat oil in large skillet over medium to medium-high heat until hot. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté 2 minutes until fragrant, stirring frequently (do not brown).
Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and pepper flakes to skillet. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomato paste to skillet; stir to mix well. Stir in vodka; simmer 10 minutes.
Stir milk into tomato sauce. Reduce heat; simmer 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp to tomato sauce. Cover; cook 10 minutes or just until opaque, turning shrimp once.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Place pasta in large bowl; set aside.
Toss shrimp-tomato sauce with pasta. Add 1/8 cup grated cheese; toss to mix well. Sprinkle with additional cheese and basil, as desired.
Nutrition information (1/6 of recipe): 400 calories; 25 g protein; 55 g carbohydrates; 7 g total fat; 2 g saturated fat; 130 mg cholesterol; 770 mg sodium; 7 g total dietary fiber.