(BIG HUGE DISCLAIMER! I am a horrible chef. Really, I screw up so many meals, it’s not even funny, so I usually only cook things that are super simple or things that I’ve cooked a million times before. The recipe below falls into both categories.)
(A SECOND BIG HUGE DISCLAIMER! I am a horrible photographer. I swear the meal below tastes so much better than it looks. Really!)
Deadlines are a part of an author’s life. They always loom on the horizon, and when that horizon rushes up and slams itself into your face, the rest of your life gets put on the back burner. Important things are overlooked. You know, things like feeding your family. For some reason, they need to eat every day.
Trying to think of something to eat and then actually attempting to cook it with two toddlers running around the kitchen always stresses me out. We end up fast fooding it more often than not when I’m in the last stages of writing a book, and not only is that expensive, but it’s not the healthiest thing to do either.
I’d heard about freezer cooking before, but had never tried it out. I started to over the last year. Some of the meals didn’t turn out so well. A few of them did. More importantly, they passed the Husband Test. (The Husband never eats leftovers, and taking something previously prepared out of the freezer kind of seems the same as leftovers, so if he approves of the meal, it’s a winner.)
Some people do freezer cooking in a day: they plan out weeks or a month of meals and cook them all at the same time. I can’t do that. I don’t like to cook, and the kids are always around. But I can double or triple recipes when I cook them, then freeze what we don’t eat. That’s what I do with this pesto shrimp pasta recipe. It’s my favorite freezer meal so far, and it’s so yummy and so easy to make. The Classico Pesto Sauce is fabulous!
PESTO SHRIMP PASTA
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 lb shrimp
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half (or any small tomato will do, I think)
12 oz. Angel hair pasta
1 jar of Classico Pesto Sauce*
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Boil pasta according to package directions.
2. While pasta is boiling, heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat and cook minced garlic for 1-2 minutes.
3. On medium-high heat, add the shrimp and sautee until completely cooked.
4. When shrimp are cooked, add in tomato halves. I usually don’t put in the whole pint, but you can if you’re a big tomato fan.
5. When pasta is finished cooking, drain it, then return it to the post and add the jar of pesto.
6. Combine pasta with the sauteed shrimp and tomatoes or, alternatively, serve pasta on plates and top with sauteed shrimp and tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste.
Note: This recipe probably serves 6-8. My husband, me, and our 19 month old twins eat a little less than half the recipe. I freeze the rest, let it defrost overnight and reheat it on the stove for dinner. Then I usually have enough for lunch the next day.
* My husband made pesto from scratch once. It took a good amount of work and wasn’t, in our opinion, as good as the Classico pesto.