Thirty Minute Thursday…on Friday~

8 04 2011

The school year is drawing to a close (final third of the year), and things are getting the better part of my energy during the day.  I just haven’t been able to get these round ups posted on Thursdays!  Even though I cooked my dish on Sunday!  LOL!  This will get better soon.  Spring Break is still just around the corner!  Now…let’s get to the fun stuff!!

My selection from Thirty Minute Pasta this week is Spaghetti with shrimp, tomatoes and capers.   I had some calamari that I needed to cook, and this was a really nice follow up to Marcella Hazan’s Calamari Fritti, or Fried Calamari.  I was hungry for seafood, and this was a really satisfying pairing.

The recipe for the calamari is incredibly simple, and is found in Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking.  The book is certainly worth the purchase!  Marcella cooks old style Italian, and explains her recipes as she goes.  It’s no wonder her son grew up to be a teaching chef!

The recipe calls for onion, parsley, tomatoes, shrimp and capers.  There’s an incredible balance of savoriness here.  You’ve got a sweetness from the tomato that is offset with the piquant saltiness of the capers.  The shrimp are cut into bites that help the spaghetti twine nicely.   The spaghetti pasta absorbs the extra liquid in the sauce…you may even need a couple tablespoons of pasta cooking water to help when you toss the pasta.  The colors are beautiful, and the flavors…*sigh*

Look Who’s Cooking~
Chaya didn’t get a chance to drop by this week, but she had a post in reserve…just in case!  Her post at Bizzy B. Bakes features Penne with Peppers, Fresh Tomato and Parsley.  This was the first recipe Chaya tried from this book, and she really seemed to enjoy it.  She has since found, as did I, that there’s a lot of repetition in recipes.  There will be recipes that are almost exactly the same, but using a different pasta.  There’s also little seasoning, aside from fresh herbs and vegetables.  That doesn’t suit everyone equally.

Chaya has discovered she would like to play more with the recipes, and I’ve told her to have a great time!  I know myself that after a few recipes, I was really getting the feel for what I was doing.  I wanted to get more adventurous!!  I have no problem with anyone doing that!  I want you to ENJOY what you’re cooking!  If something doesn’t quite work or you want to add some personal touches to one of the recipes…by all means!  Yes…even if it means 30 Minutes becomes 3 hours!  LOL!!  I’m not BIG on rules…but I am big on enjoying yourself and doing what is best and acceptable to those you’re feeding.  Food is a kind of love gift.  Be happy with your gifts!

Speaking of happy…Kayte at Grandma’s Kitchen Table was happy with her Fusilli ai Porri e Cipolla Rosso (Fusilli with Leeks and Red Onions).   She said this is great if you like onions!  Light, and as easy as boiling water and sautéing onions!  They love onions (as do I) and really enjoyed this dish.  It’s very pretty too!

Thanks for stopping by…and if you’d like to cook with us, pick up a copy of Thirty Minute Pasta and drop me an email!  Anyone is welcome!