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Feb 10, 2012 11:30 AM

Necessary to serve a green veggie if main course is pasta?

If I make shrimp scampi over pasta as my main course, do I need to serve a veggie alongside? I was thinking maybe a side salad or a 1st course salad or ?. And I want to serve it in these pretty pasta bowls so there isn't really a plate to put the veggie on the side. But then I worry that the meal will look too pale. Do I need some baby broccoli or ??? on a separate dish?
I have this problem with fettucini alfredo too or pasta carbonara.

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  1. Throw some chopped parsley on top and call it a day.

    1 Reply
    1. I would serve a salad or vegetable as a first course--broccoli or rabe would be Italian--and then serve the pasta on it's own. If you make sure to set the shrimp on top, you won't have that pale a plate. Of course parsley could give you a green hit or you could try chives--if you are happy having either of those flavors in your dish.

      1 Reply
      1. re: escondido123

        I second the idea of a salad. A fresh, crisp salad with a nice vinaigrette is a nice contrast to the richness of the pasta dish.

      2. Use a combination of spinach and regular pasta.....ala * Paglia e Fieno*.....or Straw and Hay pasta.

        4 Replies
        1. re: fourunder

          i don't like this sort of thing because the pastas do not cook in the same amount of time.

          you don't "need" to serve a green, but something besides pasta and shrimp will feel more like a complete meal. you could set side plates and do do a platter of roasted tomatoes, peppers and tapenade, and/or a platter of roasted broccoli or asparagus.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            i don't like this sort of thing because the pastas do not cook in the same amount of time.

            Are you saying the the small amount of spinach used to color the pasta affects the overall cooking time? If one pasta says 10 minutes and the other says 9 minutes......start with the 10 minute pasta and when the timer hits 9, you drop in the other. It's that simple and done in homes and commercial kitchens every day.

            1. re: fourunder

              was picturing a package of pre-mixed, like that tri-colored rotini people use for pasta salad.

        2. I'd just through a salad together and call it a day. With fettucini alfredo and carbonara I will sometimes toss in some frozen peas or broccoli if I have them.

          1. Serve your salad Italian style -- after the pasta.