Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.


Chardonnay Shrimp Pasta

Dinner, Fish & seafood, PastaTove Balle-PedersenComment
Chardonnay Shrimp Pasta

Chardonnay Shrimp Pasta

I have to come clean. I love pasta - Big Time! And I do not discriminate, I love all pasta equally.

I love the taste, texture and how it is soaking up sauce. I do crave pasta.

When we have pasta for dinner, I have to plate it up in serving sizes, no family style pasta in my house. 

We went to BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse as one of the first places when we just moved to the US. And I fell in love with their chardonnay shrimp pasta. And whenever we went back there this was my go-to meal. But at one point BJ's discontinued this yummy pasta dish, and I had to try to make my own version. 

Serves 2-3


  • 2-3 servings spaghetti, boiled al dente

  • 1 shallot, diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 4 slices bacon, diced

  • 12-16 shrimps, peeled and deveined

  • 1 cup (2.4 dl) chardonnay (I used a Picchetti 2014)

  • 1 cup (2.4 dl) heavy whipping cream

  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary

  • 2 tomatoes, deseeded and diced

  • a little handful chopped parsley

  • 1 lime, the juice from

  • ½ cup (1.2 dl) grated parmesan cheese

  • a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, optional


Cook the spaghetti.

Cook the bacon. I cooked it almost crispy in the microwave oven, and then diced it. Set aside, letting it drain on a paper towel lined plate.
Melt butter and a splash of olive oil in a sauté pan, sauté the shallot until translucent. Add garlic and shrimp and sauté until the shrimp start to take color. Add wine, cream, rosemary, bacon and cook for 3-4 minutes till the shrimp is tender.
Add cooked spaghetti, diced tomatoes, parmesan, lime juice and parsley, and let it heat through for about a minute. 
Serve immediately sprinkled with some parsley and red pepper flakes.

Lemon Pistachio Israeli Couscous

Dinner, Pasta, Salad, SidesTove Balle-Pedersen1 Comment
Lemon Pistachio Israeli Couscous

Lemon Pistachio Israeli Couscous

After getting to know the flavor of preserved lemons in Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Green Olives, I wanted to try more recipes with preserved lemons. I bought David Lebovitz's "My Paris Kitchen" and I had to try this yummy recipe. I mad a couple of changes, making it to my linking.

Israeli couscous is a toasted pasta shaped like rice or small balls, If you cant find them in your grocery store, you can substitute it with orzo.


  • 1 cup (200 g) Israeli couscous, cooked according to package instructions
  • ½ preserved lemon
  • ½ cup (1 dl) Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • ½ cup (1 dl) dried fruit, chopped (I used apricot, cherry and prunes)
  • 2 tablespoons pistachios, unsalted, coarsely chopped
  • pepper to taste


Scoop out the pulp from the preserved lemons into a strainer over a bowl. Press the pulp to get all the juices out, this will be the dressing to the couscous. Discard the pulp. Dice up the rind, and add it to the bowl with the juice.

Chop fruit, parsley and pistachios, and add it to the bowl.

When the couscous has absorbed all the liquid and is cooked al dente, add the butter and stir until melted.

Mix all the ingredients and serve immediately.


Penne all'Amatriciana

Dinner, Pork, PastaTove Balle-PedersenComment
Penne all'Amatriciana

Penne all'Amatriciana

A friend of mine told me about this dish. I had never heard about it, or seen it on a menu before. But she raved about it, so I decided to give it a try. And Ohhh My - This dish is going on the menu again soon in my house!

I love the tomato sauce with the spiciness and the well rounded flavors from the wine and pancetta. This dish is perfect for at weekday dinner. The sauce can easily be made a day or two in advance.  

This recipe is adapted from a recipe on "Bonappetit.com, here is my version.

Serves 3-4.


  • 1 28-oz can (794 g) whole peeled tomatoes 
  • 1 (280 g) red onion 
  • 165 g pancetta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 60 ml water
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 120 ml white wine
  • balsamic to taste (use balsamic instead of sugar to balance the acidity)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 225 g uncooked penne (pasta) - cooked al dente


  • parmesan cheese


Purée the tomatoes with juices  until smooth in a blender, set aside. 

Cook onion, pancetta, oil, red pepper flakes, and water in a large pot over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until water is evaporated and fat begins to render, about 8–10 minutes. 

Add tomato paste and cook until beginning to brown, while stirring, about 2 minutes. Add wine and cook, until reduced by half, it only take a few minutes. 

Add the puréed tomato and bring it to a boil. Cover pan with a lid, reduce heat, and let it simmer for about 40–45 minutes. Season with balsamic, salt and pepper.

When sauce is almost done, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente, drain pasta. 

Add pasta to sauce and toss to coat. Serve topped with parmesan cheese. 

20-Minute Seafood Pasta

Dinner, Fish & seafood, PastaTove Balle-Pedersen1 Comment
20-Minute Seafood Pasta

20-Minute Seafood Pasta

Some days you just need to make dinner in a hurry but you still want something tasty. This pasta dish is perfect for these days. Basically you need pasta, crabmeat, Lemon and some wine to make this dish. Adding a splash of cream tomatoes and parsley makes the dish even better.


  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil 
  • 450 g (16 oz) crab meat, lump and/or claw meat 
  • 1 dl (about ⅓ cup) white wine
  • 1 dl (about ⅓ cup) lemon juice
  • 1 dl (about ⅓ cup) cream
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
  • 1 lemon for garnish


Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.

Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and heat the cooked crab meat. Pour in wine and cream and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the lemon juice and lower the heat. When the pasta is al dente, drain it and pour the pasta into the sauce. Add diced tomatoes, parmesan and parsley, and toss it to combine.

Serve immediately with a slice of lemon and more parmesan.