pasta de hot mess

I assume most people possess neither the time nor energy to cook elaborate meals during the week and tend to rotate through a repertoire of a few trusted recipes. Between working all day, dragging oneself to the gym, and completing any random errands who wants to think about cooking? Ugh, not this girl.

Enter Pasta de Hot Mess: It has morphed into many dishes since its conception. It first began as Pasta Surprise because what I put in was directly correlated with the random ingredients we had in our house, then Pasta de Lesleigh after the recipe miraculously turned into a requested dinner dish, and finally Pasta de Hot Mess because it is spicy and a jumble of ingredients. So, if you are into haphazard dishes with a pinch of this and a handful of that then read on for a filling, (mostly) nutritious, and fast weeknight dinner recipe.

{Warning: I tend to throw ingredients in chaotically so all of the measurements are estimates. Because I’d rather not cook a lot on weeknights the amount is meant to last for a few meals.}

{Disclaimer: If you are a fancy cook, please forgive me for this. I already feel you cringing.}


One bell pepper

Half of a large red onion

Two cups sliced mushrooms

Two boxes of whole wheat pasta

One cup pesto sauce

¾ cup ricotta cheese

½ cup chopped pecans

Two pounds shrimp (or chicken, beef, tofu, etc.)

Three tablespoons olive oil

Two tablespoons chopped garlic cloves

One tablespoon cayenne pepper

Two tablespoons red chili pepper flakes (This may seem like a lot of hot spice however the ricotta will neutralize the intensity a bit.)


{Start to boil a large pot of water for the noodles. Chop up the vegetables and pecans (keep the pecans separate).}

{Sauté the vegetables in the olive oil, garlic, and spice mix.}

{Ensure the shrimp are thawed out. To do, place shrimp in a strainer and run warm water over.}

{When the noodles are cooked and strained, put them back in the pot. Add the ricotta and pesto and stir until evenly distributed. Add salt to taste and then the shrimp. Combine the vegetables in the pot with the noodle mess.}

{Dish into bowls and sprinkle with the pecans. Now eat that hot mess!}


  1. I like how you added pecans to this for even more texture. Looks great!

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