April 4 – April 10, 2022
Monday: Asparagus Frittata
Tuesday: Stuffed Shells in Vodka Sauce
Wednesday: Pancetta, Arugula and Roasted Tomato Salad
Thursday: Cheesy Tomato Beans with Broccoli Rabe
Friday: Crisp, Oven-roasted Caulflower
Saturday: Pizza Margherita (with Pepperoni!)
Sunday: Pasta Primavera with Shrimp
I was going to start this post with a rather stiff figment of my imagination, but Beez told me that it was in very bad taste, so I didn’t. I have, however, included that contemplated opening at the very end of this post for those of you not deterred by bad taste. It’s just below a unique picture of Andrew’s dog, Murph. (Please don’t tell Barbara – about the opening, she knows about Murph.)
One other point before beginning – Next post, I promise to tell you how our 7 hour lamb went over with the Easter dinner crowd at Casa Stuarti. We had hoped to get today’s post out before Easter dinner, but life intervened.
Happy Easter, Passover, Spring
I have avoided ordering Martinis in biker bars, salmon at steak houses, and tripe anywhere. Other aversions include ketchup on hot dogs, sugar substitutes on anything and bubble tea. I’ve also avoided ordering pasta primavera for, roughly, 55 years. I had a bland version of it back in 1967 and, in addition to under-seasoned vegetables, I found the angel hair pasta annoying. But one matures and spring (‘primavera’ in Italian) remains exciting even at my advanced age, if only for the respite from the cold. And, well, spring vegetables (asparagus, early peas, etc.) are spectacular. And I’ve learned to season food well. And I thought I’d give pasta primavera another chance. And so should you.
We added shrimp to our version, but you needn’t. Be sure to get a nice bunch of asparagus (not too thin) and lots of fresh herbs. Stick with the angel hair or use a thin spaghetti. You’ll enjoy how easy and tasty this dish is.
Pasta Primavera (optional shrimp)
(adapted from several recipes)
Timing: 12 minutes if you cook the pasta and shrimp and vegetables concurrently. Shrimp and vegetables take about 9 minutes on their own and you’ll want to cook everything together with parmesan for a minute or two.
Ingredients: Serves Four
Package of uncooked angel hair or thin spaghetti (you’ll only need about 8 ounces for the dinner – save the rest of the pasta for another use)
16 jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined (leaving the shrimp out is fine)
15 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup sliced mushrooms
½ cup chicken broth
Plum tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons each minced basil, oregano, thyme and parsley (substitute more thyme or parsley if you don’t have fresh oregano)
½ cup grated parmesan
3/8 cup olive oil
Heaping ½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to boil
Trim and slice and mince the vegetables, herbs and garlic
Put the pasta in the boiling water and cook until just al dente
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high.
Add the shrimp and asparagus, reduce heat to medium and cook until shrimp turns pink – say 4 minutes.
Now add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, and then add the mushrooms, broth, tomato, salt and pepper flakes and simmer for 2 minutes.
While shrimp and vegetables are simmering, drain the pasta, saving a little of the pasta water to loosen the dish, if needed.
Add the pasta to shrimp and vegetables and toss. Then add the parmesan and toss to coat. Serve with more parmesan on the side.
Here is Andrew’s dog, Murph, having leapt through a screen onto Andrew’s back porch roof in order to bark at dogs in the alley:
Bad taste proposed opening: Next week we’ll let you know how our bone-in leg of lamb went over with the Easter dinner crowd at Casa Stuarti. From where I sit, I can look out my office window and see the lamb hobbling around the yard. The vet expects him to adapt to his prosthesis within the year.