Shrimp, Squash and Spaghetti

I’m continuing my mother’s insistence that I make more meals and fewer dishes.

But first, I’d just like to point out: there are a few cases where a single dish actually IS a meal. Consider:

  • pizza–quit fooling yourself, you don’t actually want or need a side salad if you’ve made a whole 10-12 inch pizza. Seriously, consider these three pizzas.
  • soup/chowder. Again, with the exception of “bread” who needs a side to, say, a lentil soup? Or lamb stew?
  • already one-dish meals. Like beef stroganoff. Or shepherd’s pie.

Here’s a picture tutorial for those who need it:

Now there’s another very helpful thing about these one dish meals: the number of pots and pans involved. Clean up frequently involves “(overnight) soaking”–but it also usually only involves one or two non-serving plate items.

This last bit is increasingly important to me. While my mother never thought I was anywhere close to a “neat freak”, compared to most people (my age? my stage?) realistically I kinda am. In particular, I find it almost therapeutic to dust and vacuum. Why? Well, I’m an academian. Most of my time I spend thinking about work and research. You can spend HOURS thinking about a really cool open problem and make zero to negative progress. You spend 10 minutes with a dust rag, and I promise you will see progress. I’ve also spent perhaps too much of my adult life living alone. When I first started, I was scared. Not to the point where my life was halted, but I definitely didn’t enjoy being alone at night; I was also adapting to a new “home”stead, and so at first every creak or bump in the night would make me gasp. But having a clean house with everything in its place calmed me into believing I was not about to live out the end tub/towel scene in Sleeping With the Enemy.

There is one area of housework I ALWAYS have hated, even as a kid (which may have been why my mother didn’t think I was as neat as I am). I abhor cleaning anything that involves water. If it weren’t for the fact I’d be embarrassed to be that “lazy”, I would totally pay a maid weekly JUST to clean my bathroom. Shower doors on rails or claw-foot tubs, pedestal sinks or small tiles all make me cringe. So do dishes. Despite it being my tacit “job” as a kid, I HATE doing dishes. No fun for me at all. Hate it. The scraping of the uneaten and uneatable bits into the trashcan, the rinsing and the soaking and the spritzing and the scrubbing, the loading (and unloading) of the dishwasher or the hand-drying. There is no joy in TTENG doing dishes.

So these types of dish-meals are my favorite. Minimal pain = all the gain. Added benefit to this dish (unlike the shepherds pie or whole pizza): it scales well nicely if you’re cooking for one. Finally, it reheats well. Make it and enjoy!



  • Shrimp, raw and deveined
  • Garlic
  • Butter
  • Zucchini, sliced
  • Yellow squash, sliced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes
  • White wine
  • Spaghetti (or your other favorite pasta–typically I use fettuccini)


  1. Make the pasta.
  2. Place all non pasta ingredients in a baking dish. Bake at 400*F until done (which shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes).

  3. Toss the cooked pasta in when the shrimp is done, and serve.

2 thoughts on “Shrimp, Squash and Spaghetti

  1. sometimes i think parents have issues. the great cuisines of the world are full of meals made up of dishes, individual or collective. personally, i agree with those folks…dish(es) are where it’s at.

  2. You have a great narrative style! Love your blog. Always more than just food. But today I really want to try this “meal!” Also, wanted to let you know I will be happy to do your dishes in exchange for your cooking anytime!

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