Shrimp Napa Noodles ‡

Despite its number of ingredients, this one-dish dinner presents a complex combination of shrimpy, smoky, spicy, Italian-like tastes, and yet is reasonably simple to prepare. You may choose to use a good quality bacon prepared according to the method given earlier and then crumbled, or the recommended bacon bits. The smoky aroma and taste of it meld nicely with the pungency of the chile (depending on the amount of seeds and placenta retained), the mysterious aura of the cabbage, and the robustness of the Italian sauce and herbs to provide a welcome and lusty foundation for the shrimp. Be sure to serve with crusty garlic cheese toast.

  • 2 oz lower G. I. pasta penne, cooked and drained
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups head Napa cabbage, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 carrot, diced ¼”
  • ¼ cup white onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño chile, diced
  • ½ cup mushrooms, diced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup traditional (tomato) pasta sauce
  • ¼ cup bacon bits
  • 2 tsp tomato bouillon powder
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp leaf oregano
  • ½ lb medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and halved
  • ¼ cup Asiago cheese, grated

Cook the pasta according to manufacturer’s directions and drain. Toss with one of the two tbsps olive oil to prevent sticking together.

In a large sauce pan, cook the cabbage, carrot, onion, jalapeño, and mushrooms in the other tablespoon of olive oil until the onions are limp and just starting to darken. Add the wine, pasta sauce, bacon, bouillon powder, pepper, and oregano and stir to combine all ingredients uniformly. Turn the heat just above a simmer, and let the liquid reduce to the point it coats the back of a spoon smoothly, stirring occasionally.

Reduce the heat just to a simmer, add the shrimp and cook for a short time, just enough to turn them pink and render them al dente. Fold in the pasta and serve with Asiago sprinkled on top.