Chard & Zucchini Shrimp Alfredo

Creamy alfredo pasta with shrimp and market veggies, easily adaptable to whatever is in season + the #itsjustdinner situation and thoughts on social media (lookin' at you, Instagram stories).
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Chard & Zucchini Shrimp Alfredo | www.foodess.com

Chard & Zucchini Shrimp Alfredo | www.foodess.com

A couple of weeks ago on Instagram I talked about starting an #itsjustdinner series, and I'm totally going to do it.   What this means is: one picture + a recipe.  No styled ingredients shots and step-by-step photos. (This one was edited in my phone in about 3 seconds before we gobbled it up.)

You see, I often have yummy things to share with you that were made spontaneously with a ravenous crew hovering about, or a 10-month-old clinging to my knees. And under those circumstances, I don't always have the time and/or desire to bust out my tripod.    

And I know you have a sweet tooth, but you still want to see more than white chocolate & strawberry mousse tarts and apricot buttermilk cakes, right? 

Here's an easy pasta dinner, easily made with whatever veggies you've brought home from the farmer's market and any protein you have knocking around your freezer.  So delicious and quick.  

Can we work our way back to instagram for just a sec?  Are you into the new stories feature? I haven't been able to get into it.  I already feel semi-tethered to my phone, and I just don't get the appeal in sharing (or watching) selfies and bad photos of minor life details.  I already know my instagram audience doesn't want it.  This because a photo of, say, oatmeal will get maybe 300 likes and a cute photo of my adorable baby will get only 85.  If a nice photo only gets 85, then who the heck wants to see the crappy snapshots I'd send to my mom and mother-in-law?

Maybe I'm just getting old and this is the beginning of my technology-resisting crotchety future.

What do you think? 

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4-6Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pasta (spaghetti or fettuccine)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, stems thinly sliced and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/4 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup finely grated parmigiana reggiano
  • Salt and pepper
  • A few big handfuls of peeled shrimp
  • A handful of basil, finely chopped
  • Zest of one lemon

Preparation

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water  until al dente, about nine minutes. Reserve about a cup of pasta water then drain the pasta in a colander. 

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch  oven over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about one minute. Add Swiss chard stems and zucchini, season with salt, and cook until crisp-tender,  about four minutes. Stir in cream, zest and shrimp;  season well with salt and bring to a simmer. Cook until shrimp or just opaque,  a few minutes. Stir in swiss chard leaves and parmigiana.

Return pasta to stockpot and scrape in shrimp mixture and enough pasta water to coat the pasta. Top with basil and serve.