September 10, 2016


Mary Beth Johnson is a wife and mum to four schooners, as she's dubbed her children. On a normal afternoon, you would find her in moccasins, skinny jeans and a comfortable tee, camera in hand. Recently moving to the suburbs of Atlanta, Mary Beth spends her days homeschooling, sneaking away to the bookstore, trying to act the part of a southerner, and sifting through recipes in The Vegetarian Times. Food is her love language.

It has been hot here in the south and I feel completely uninspired to turn the oven on for dinner at night. Every time I think about living without air conditioning I say a little prayer and thank the Lord for all-too-often-forgotten-gifts. Aside from all the fresh fruits and vegetables, dinners in the summer are a doozy for me. We have not yet invested in an outdoor grill (we always say someday when we buy another "forever house" we will) so all those lovely vegetable kebobs and blue cheese burgers you see on Pinterest do not work for us. I have experimented and come up with a few alternatives, like open faced burgers in the oven, but the house gets so hot I try to avoid it if I can.

I've recently discovered a great art to the quick summertime dinner and that is one-dish pastas. You can go as simple or delectable as you like. Pile them up high with sautéed veggies, parmesan cheese, chicken and fresh herbs and mix with a simple sauce. A great pasta sauce has chicken stock or reserved pasta water (drained from the noodles and saved) as the base and then you can add in a little lemon juice, garlic, and heavy cream - delicious!!!!

My daughter pointed out shrimp in the grocery store and asked if we could make some for dinner. I stick with chicken mostly, but I do love shrimp in the summertime and decided that if we couldn't have grilled shrimp tacos, we could have linguine. You all, we make a lot of pasta dishes here, but my husband declared this the best we've ever made. It was amazing. And so fast and simple it will be my new go-to when having people over for dinner. Make it!


8 ounces linguine pasta
1 stick unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound shrimp, peeled and tail removed
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
1/4 cup lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup reserved pasta water
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package instructions, reserving a 1/3 cup of the pasta liquid.While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, chili pepper flakes, and shrimp to the pan. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally for five minutes, or until the shrimp is pink.Stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, heavy cream, and reserved pasta liquid. Allow the mixture to simmer for 2 minutes.Drain the cooked pasta and add it to the sauté pan; stir to combine. Cook for an additional minute to allow the pasta to soak up the sauce. Stir in Parmesan cheese and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.Remove the pan from the heat and allow the pasta to sit for 5 minutes to thicken. Serve with extra Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Source: One Sweet Mess