Quinoa Spaghetti w/ Shrimp, Asparagus & Dill {sunday family dinner}


Welcome to the first installment of {sunday family dinner}, where I'll post what I'm cooking up for Sunday family dinner!

quinoa spaghetti mep

My family has been getting together every week for years and years.

And like life, things change.

roasted asparagus

There have been different homes and different people.


Different board games and different diets.


But Sunday has always been the same.

I made this a few weeks back since the cousins have decided to boycott the Farmers Market tamales (excellent tamales) we've had on and off for the past 2 years.  My Aunt is on a gluten free diet, hence the quinoa pasta (which I think is delicious).

INGREDIENTS: (makes 2 entrée portions)

  • 6 oz. quinoa spaghetti
  • 9 medium asparagus spears (trimmed of woody ends)
  • 4 t. olive oil
  • 10 ea. shrimp (31-35 count), peeled and deveined
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • pinch of chili flakes
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tbsp.)
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tbsp.)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • kosher salt to taste (+ for pasta water)
  • 2 tbsp. chopped dill

For the quinoa spaghetti:

-Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil for the quinoa pasta.
-Boil pasta, about 9 minutes.tip1  Drain and toss lightly with olive oiltip2; reserve.

For the asparagus:

-Preheat oven to 425° F.
-Lightly coat the asparagus with 1 t. olive oil and season with a pinch of salt.
-Roast asparagus, about 9 minutes.tip3
-When cool enough to handle, cut on a bias into 1” pieces and reserve.tip4

For the shrimp:

-Place a medium sauté pan on medium heat.
-Add 1 t. olive oil and 1 tbsp. butter.
-When butter melts, add chili flakes, garlic and shallots.tip5
-Stir to evenly coat; sweat out about 1 minute.
-Add shrimp and sprinkle with salt.
-Cook about 1 minute until shrimp turns bright red and begins to curl.tip6
-Add lemon zest and juice.

To finish:

-Mix spaghetti with asparagus, shrimp mixture and chopped dill.tip7

My tips:

1.  Test the quinoa by biting into a piece.  It’s ready when there is a very tiny speck of white in the center.  Drain at this point, the pasta will continue to carryover cook.
2.  Tossing in olive oil will prevent the noodles from sticking.
3.  The asparagus is ready when they are bright green and have a slight bite but without being mushy.  Cooking times vary based on oven/asparagus size.
4.  Cutting on a bias just gives a nicer look.
5.  You just want to sweat out the garlic and shallots-no browning.
6.  Shrimp can go from being undercooked to overcooked very quickly.  When shrimp first turns bright red, that means the outside is cooked.  The inside takes a little longer; the shrimp will begin to curl (I usually turn off heat at that point).
7.  This dish is best eaten immediately.