I had a wonderful plate of shrimp linguine the other night at a buffet restaurant. The pasta was topped with grape tomatoes, sliced red onions, spinach or basil, shrimp, and was topped with shredded cheese. I made mental notes, hoping that I could replicate it at home. I have to admit that I'm not very good at this sort of thing. I can follow a recipe with ease, and even substitute things with success, but trying to duplicate something like this from scratch is a new venture.
The sauce was a stumper; it wasn't a tomato sauce or a cream sauce. It was more like an oil-based sauce, and the tomatoes had obviously been marinating in the sauce for awhile - biting into them had been a delicious surprise.
After thinking for a few days and letting some ideas marinate in my mind (excuse the pun), I wondered if Italian dressing would work? So I halved the tomatoes and chopped the other veggies and let them marinate in the dressing overnight. I don't like spinach and my basil plant has already passed on, so I just left out the "greens". I planned to use some cooked chopped chicken, but I found a 1-pound bag of boiled shrimp in the freezer, leftover from the ten pounds our son-in-law sent us from Maine. I boiled some linguine for lunch and topped it with shredded cheese, some of the shrimp, the veggies and dressing.
Other than overestimating the serving size, I was very happy with the result. (I not only made too much linguine, I also made enough veggies for two meals and used too much salad dressing.) It was delicious though, and would only have been better with some crusty bread to go with it. The hot pasta melted the cheese and warmed up the shrimp and veggies nicely. There is enough for lunch today too. Yum. Look out, Olive Garden!