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Pasta Margherita

Ingredients:

Uncooked dried penne pasta (about 8- 12 oz, 2-3 cups dried)

¼ cup butter (1/2 stick, or a little less if you’re concerned about the fat)

splash of olive oil

dash of salt

2 tsp. finely chopped garlic (fresh or from jar)

2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped

¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

½ – 1 lb. shrimp, thawed (uncooked, tail off)*

or- 2 chicken breasts (instead of shrimp), cut up into bite-sized pieces

Directions:

Cook pasta according to directions, drain, and return to sauce pan to keep warm.

Meanwhile, melt butter with a splash of olive oil and dash of salt in a skillet over medium high heat until sizzling.

Add shrimp and sauté until pink (cooked through).  Or add chicken and sauté until cooked through.

Add garlic, cook 30 seconds or until softened.

Add tomatoes and basil, continue cooking stirring occasionally, 1-2 minutes, or until heated through.

Add pasta and parmesan cheese, stirring until combined.

Serve immediately.

*I found some frozen shrimp at Wal Mart that was pretty good and not too expensive.  Just pull it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge the night before or the morning of the day you plan to make this.  If you forget to thaw it, just put the shrimp in a bowl of warm water while you prep everything else and it will thaw pretty quickly.  It was delicious with the shrimp.