Penne with Spicy Garlic Shrimp, Vodka Sauce and Arugula

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

This is a total cheat meal but it was so good, I thought I’d post it anyway.  As is so often the case – last night I found myself with an odd mix of ingredients & the challenge of making a combination of them into something edible.  I had shrimp, pasta, arugula & two half jars of pasta sauce.  I also had something unexpected in my refrigerator – do you see it?


Who is THAT in the upper left corner?


There was a grasshopper in my fridge!  Alive – and he had been there many hours – because I hadn’t opened the fridge all day.  Grasshoppers have been showing up in my kitchen sorta frequently lately which is odd because 1) they never have before & 2) because I just shot a movie called Grasshopper! and since then  – several of us involved with it have been having strange grasshopper encounters.  My boyfriend found one in his air-tight-to-preserve-the-air-conditioning ELEVENTH floor condo.  How would a grasshopper get in there?  Or in my fridge?  One crashed a party I had in July.  Crazy.  Anyway – we got him out & set him free.  Now – back to the pasta:


Penne with Spicy Garlic Shrimp, Vodka Sauce and Arugula


1/2 jar of Gia Russa Hot Sicilian Pasta Sauce

1/2 jar Bertolli Vodka Sauce

6 cloves garlic

12 shrimp

1/2 box penne pasta

1/2 bag fresh arugula

olive oil

crushed red pepper


Parmesan or fresh mozzarella – if putting cheese with fish doesn’t make you go mental.


Heat the olive oil & saute the garlic cloves – whole – for about a minute.  Add the shrimp with a tablespoon of crushed red pepper and S&P to taste.  Saute until the shrimp are pink.  Set aside.


I heated the two sauces in a pan & blended them.  I added crushed red pepper to this sauce.


Cook the pasta according to directions.  Drain.  Put pasta on two plates, top with fresh, raw arugula & then some sauce.  Arrange shrimp on top of this & serve.  It is considered a sin to put any cheese on fish – so this dish is best served without Parmesan – but my boyfriend likes cheese – so I added some sliced, fresh mozzarella to his.


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