Wish I could bottle this kind of goodness...Oh wait, THEY DID! My #fabin40 pasta is truly luxurious and FAST!
Pasta is almost the same as meat and potatoes on the comfort scale. It just screams love on a plate. But how do you get there quick and not have to spend hours simmering the sauce? Read on to find out how I grabbed for greatness in a bottle for preparing my SHRIMP LINGUINI WITH OREGANO AND ARRABIATA CREAM SAUCE.
Since my love for cooking and baking has intensified, I find myself avoiding almost everything packaged. I am so intent on teaching myself to make an original dish, or use a technique I want to perfect, that grabbing anything with a lid doesn't seem like a true food purchase.
But then of course I am wrong to think that way. Even on TV I see the educated and famous opening a can, or tearing open a package, or even reconstituting something. It appears, (and I've always believed this) that the only hard and fast rule is what you make simply has to taste the best it can be. But in addition, the cook must still have a modicum of energy remaining when she sits down to the table. So it stands to reason that bottled food not only insures a certain flavor, it makes it quick, which in turn means I have more time to tell silly jokes and drink awesome wine.
In this case, it was bottled pasta sauce for this recipe. And Trader Giotto's is always a good bet. Here's a set of tips so you can make this meal, be famous with your guests, and still have time to recline.
#1 - Don't skimp on the shrimp - You may be tempted, in your embrace of the quick meal concept, to buy shrimp already cooked. Don't do it. They'll be rubbery, overcooked, and detract from your amazing-ness at curtain time. Buy the ones that have already had their shells removed, and the veins removed, with the tail still on. Makes prep super easy and preserves the integrity of the meal.
#2 - Use real cream - You can call your cardiologist in the morning. And seriously, if you show him the photos of dinner I think he will understand. The fat content in the heavy cream helps bind the sauce together, and is just the star of the show in terms of making a luxuriously flavored and feeling meal. Buy, use, repeat.
#3 - Don't drain your pasta - Invest in a nice big scoopy-thing-spoon so you get the pasta and a little water as you ladle it into the sauce. In fact the pasta water will actually help your sauce cling. And it won't be gummy either. Yeah, this is one of those secrets you cannot ignore. (Hey, do you know what its called? That's seriously the set of words I Googled, and I GOT the photos I was looking for! Scary.)
#5 - Swirl when serving - Once you've combined everything and you're ready to plate, use tongs to grab your pasta and kinda swirl it around as you set it on the plate. Keeps it in a nice, pretty stack and then you can add the right number of shrimp per serving and the extra sauce it might need. Don't try to get everything in a spoonful. Do it in stages and swirling is a stage that dazzles.
#6 - Don't pre-cook your shrimp - It's tempting to think you have to allow a lot of time for the shrimp to cook. But seafood is different than other proteins. Whereas a piece of chicken may take 5-7 minutes, shrimp will cook in about 2 minutes, maybe 1 and a half minutes. Maybe less. Once you add it to the sauce, stir and then bring all to temperature again. After you get plates out and get ready to serve, you'll notice that shrimp is done, nicely done. Just read my recipe for the exact direction on when and how to add those little pink gems.
In closing, you will see that I also made some very yummy cheese bruschetta. Just brush on lots of butter mixed with Romano cheese, broil, sprinkle with kosher salt and fight over them! (I mean serve.)
RECIPE: Shrimp with Linguini in Arrabiata Cream Sauce
1 lb fresh, peeled, deveined, tail on shrimp
1/3 white onion, rough chopped
1 25 ounce bottle Trader Giotto’s Arrabiata sauce
Handful fresh oregano, chopped
3 fluid ounces heavy cream
4 oz., or half a box of Mario Batali Bronze Extruded linguini pasta
½ C grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 large head of garlic roasted, cloves extracted and mashed
2 T butter
2 T mild olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
Remove the tails from the shrimp. Place in bowl. Toss with the olive oil and ½ t salt and ¼ t pepper. Set aside.
Bring 8 cups of water to boil adding 1 teaspoon kosher salt to water.
In a large saucepan, melt butter and add the onion, cooking until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the bottle of sauce and stir until bubbling. Add half the oregano to the sauce and then add the cream, stir and let simmer, on low, covered for about 6 or 7 minutes. While the sauce is lightly bubbling, cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente which takes about 6 minutes. Meaning that when you taste a piece you can still bite into a significant amount of the chewiness in the pasta. Before adding pasta to sauce, add the shrimp, all at once. Stir and let simmer for about 2 minutes. Now, add the pasta. Here’s how: Do not drain pasta, simply ladle the pasta into the sauce with a slotted, cupped spatula. Basically, a tool you would use to remove something from the deep fryer. Let the water that is dripping from the pasta come along with the linguini. Add another ¼ C of the water to sauce. Now stir all of the ingredients together and let bubble until the shrimp is done, which only takes about 2-3 more minutes, and also allows the pasta to finish cooking, soaking up all that tomato sauce goodness and softening.
To serve, take tongs and pull out each pasta serving on the plate, twirling your tongs to make the pasta stack pretty. Using a spoon, grab the shrimp for each serving and add more sauce with a spoon if needed to evenly distribute all the sauce and pasta for each guest. Top with the grated cheese and garnish with the rest of the oregano.
I have a sister who, in spite of her efforts to lay low, is really the true genius of our family. She's not shy, she just understands that being stealthy gets you closer to the action than being loud (like me!). Sure, she tries to fly under the radar, but her talents are too endearing to go unrewarded, and are rivaled only by her brilliant sense of humor and cleverness. For instance, take her choice of snacks. When we were little she absolutely LOVED drinking pickle juice. And she would eat a raw onion the way you and I eat a Red Delicious apple. And when she wasn't grossing me out with her dare-devil morsels of horror, she was threatening to create one. Bottom line, she was always able to maintain the upper hand; never in the pickle, always in control of it.
I'm pretty sure you'll have the upper hand when you make this meal. Inspired by a recipe for a marinade I saw on AllRecipes.com, this 2-step process for tender pork is so unbelievably easy it hardly counts as cooking. However...do NOT tell your guests this. You should serve dinner still wearing an apron so you receive all the accolades that will follow after the first bite. And come they will... The sweet, syrupy broth that hugs those fall apart pieces of pork just beg to be eaten in haste. THEN there's that perfect, tangy accompaniment to any pig-meal: Yes, pickles. Except in this case, I added them to cooked potatoes and carrots, and covered it all with a creamy, herbal, tangy sweet pickle vinaigrette. YUM.
Oh, and if you decide to serve a little pickle juice as a before dinner drink, I will give you my sister's number. She will even bring her own shot glass.
Download my recipe for Brown Sugar Crock Pot Pork Ribs with Warm Potato Carrot Salad and a Sweet Pickle Vinaigrette!
Charlotte has become a TRUE football town... A grid-iron village, an NFL eating machine, a relentless huddled mass of teal-wearing screaming cat-lovers on every corner. And this Sunday was no exception when we gathered with good friends to watch the Carolina Panthers escape losing to become 12 and 0. Undeafeated, ya'll. The dream team right here in our own backyard.
"Dessert, please!" Jess texted when I inquired what to bring. "And, by the way, since we intend to eat the Saints, the food theme is all Cajun."
Excellent! I know this. New Orleans rocks the food world. So as I pondered on my assignment, I realized without hesitation that as long as you add Bourbon to your dish you're just about speaking Cajun fluently. So the decision to make a raisin and pecan bread pudding, unabashedly spiked with the best Bourbon and caramel sauce, was an easy choice. And what will I call it? Dead Saints Bread Pudding. It was an omen and an answer to a prayer in one dish.
You think I'm kidding, but unless you were there you can't rebut my story so just listen closely. Wandering between viewing stations in our host's home -- a monster screen in the family room and an equally pixel-powered monitor on the back patio -- we all circled, nervously doing our best to repeat every ritual we had ever performed to insure a victory. Superstitions are a powerful tool when it comes to sports, but I now know that sugar is the ultimate weapon!
When I preheated the oven during halftime, the score was not skewed in our favor. Cam Newton looked off-balance, uneasy, and not as confident as he had even in previous games where they'd found themselves trailing by a field goal or two. Something was wrong. And then, as I stared at the screen -- and this is no lie -- he looked RIGHT BACK AT ME!
"Time for the Saints to Die..." he said, forming the words with care so I wouldn't miss the message and assume he was just spitting into his face guard. "I got ya, Cam. One Dead Saints Pudding, on the way." I breathed back with oven mitts in hand. And by the time I was pouring the caramel sauce over the golden tipped goodness we had already started our march to a win, and all was well in Panther-land.
And so it is, that the Panthers #keeppounding because I was there when Cam needed me, and just happened to have 7 eggs, Maker's Mark bourbon, and a hankering for hanging with friends...#gopanthers!
This gets Christmas in your mouth so you can get the party started! Pumpkin, raisins, walnuts and more!
It's no secret I love the beach, and when I look at something so vast and so powerful I just feel wiser. I am calmed by her white foamy heartbeat. Her tides heaving like a pendulum keeping time in a way that can not be cheated or negotiated. And so this is where we will celebrate our day of gratitude and feast.
For those of you who have been lucky enough to have years and years of unbroken traditions, I applaud you. My day of thankfulness has seen nothing but change over my lifetime. And each year as we make new friends, visit new places and eat new foods I have amassed a cornucopia of love and blessings all over the country. This year Thanksgiving Day was no exception.
Stopping to see Ron's mom Jean at the assisted living, we enjoyed a humble but delicious meal with all the fixings. And at our small table was Ellen. Who, without us, would have celebrated Thanksgiving alone. See? These are the kinds of things that happen when you veer off the traditional path. Quiet, gracious, happy. Thank goodness we were there.
Hardly 5 minutes went by during the next 4 days that I didn't have a fork or spoon in my mouth. Eat. Eat. Eat. Gobble. Gobble and gobble!!
Served by the staff, and really very good, the above was our FIRST turkey dinner. Yes, I had all the ingredients in the cooler, packed smartly in the back of our Lincoln, that would be cooked and presented later that evening at the beach. I think this is the first year we ate TWO turkey dinners!
Check out the seasonings added to our bone-in, skin on turkey breast. Just enough for the two of us...including two days of leftovers! Fresh thyme, lemon, onion, and a Herbs de Provence rub. This bird is ready to roast!
Pan Roasted broccoli, creamy mashed potatoes, and a fine herb gravy made it all feel like home! Even though it was served on hotel plates, it still tasted delicious.
Every day of our trip the weather was amazing. High's in the 70's and lows in the 50's. We couldn't have been more blessed. Shopping. exploring, loving life. That was our holiday at the beach!
Watch my short video about getting comfy in the kitchen.
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Meet the Cook...
My name is Camine Pappas and I love to create beautiful and delicious food that anyone can make. My signature style centers around a love for combining things in a way you might not expect as I work to find a hidden combination of colors, textures and flavors from the things that are in my pantry and/or easy to obtain.