The Frugal Café | Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup"</a> | Creative Commons License,
Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup" | Creative Commons License,

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Gary Sinese's Kids' Pasta with Shrimp

Compiled by Vicki McClure Davidson


Frugal Celebrities Recipes

Acclaimed award-winning actor and director Gary Sinese, star of television's CSI:New York and co-star in the 1994 film Forrest Gump, shared his very own original pasta dish recipe on Rachael Ray's TV cooking/talk show back in 2006.

Gary said that,one night, he had whipped this pasta dish up for his kids out of what he had in the fridge... they've loved it and wanted it ever since.

While this pasta dish sounds heavenly, it's not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. The cost of ingredients like 24 shrimp or a bunch of fresh asparagus or crimini mushrooms is likely not comfortably within the food budget of most non-television stars like us. However, you could decrease the amount of shrimp used and buy less expensive mushrooms to make it a more thrifty meal. (I don't know about you, but three of my favorite foods in the world are shrimp, asparagus, and mushrooms, and to have them in one pasta dish leaves me a bit woozy with anticipation.)

Other than that, while this isn't as frugal as other celebrity recipes we've featured, it seems like one that could become a family favorite, just as it is in Gary Sinese's home. So, perhaps, indulging once in a while to make it can be justified. Maybe reserve it for a special occasion, like a winning Little League game for your child, a special at-home birthday dinner, or a banner week for you or your spouse at work.

Or, you can take Gary's lead and search through your fridge to see what you can create, using the basics from his recipe as a foundation. Maybe you have a small can of baby shrimp or crab meat lurking in your pantry that you've got no idea how you want to use it... this could be the very recipe for it! Start brainstorming and you could latch onto a delicious idea using items you already have in the pantry or refrigerator.



Place a large pot with water over high heat and bring up to a boil. Once boiling, add some salt and the pasta, and cook to al dente according to package directions. Drain thoroughly.

While the water is coming up to a boil, start the shrimp and veggies: Season the shrimp with a little salt and some pepper. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once oil ripples, add the shrimp in an even layer. Cook about 2 minutes on each side then remove from the skillet and reserve on a plate.

Return the skillet to the heat with 2 more tablespoons of olive oil. Add mushrooms and cook, without stirring, for 3-4 minutes. Then, give the pan a shake and a stir, add the onions and garlic, and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the mushrooms are brown, the onions are soft, and the garlic is golden in color.

Add asparagus, some salt and pepper, the sun-dried tomatoes, and the reserved shrimp, and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Add pasta, toss to coat, taste, and then season as necessary with more salt and pepper. Add parsley and basil, top with Parmigiano Reggiano, stir to combine and serve hot.

Serves 4.


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Source: Rachael Ray Show, aired December 13, 2006, (