My Aunt taught me how to tie my shoes at my Grandmother’s house- in the middle bedroom of her ranch home to be exact. The house was always packed with pizzelle cookies and chocolate covered marshmallows, and often smelled like horseradish, due to the absurd amounts of horseradish growing behind the swimming pool fence. You learned to stay out of the kitchen on the days horseradish sauce was being made, unless you enjoyed crying. My brother and I would help pick tomatoes off of my grandparent’s tomato plants, but we’d always scrunch up our faces if asked to eat one. I remember the horrible squeamish feeling I’d get if I picked an overly ripe tomato and it squished in my fingers.
To this very day I hate touching squishy tomatoes.
We’d spend our summers swimming in the pool, pretending there were sharks in the depths of the 8 foot deep, play ring around the rosie on the awning poles, then just act like crazy monkeys when we got older. I’d eat ants on a log and learned to put salt on cucumbers (because I didn’t like eating salt and radishes like everyone else in my family). My brother and I would catch fireflies at night and dance with sparklers on the fourth of July.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this. I just started to think of my Grandmother’s old house (my Uncle bought it from her and now lives there) and all these memories came flooding in of summers at my grandparents. I’m finding it so strange how much I can remember being 8 years old just by thinking of my grandparents, or their house, or even just the neighborhood (Handel’s ice cream, oh how I miss it!). I remember going out for Italian food with my Grandmother, because if there’s one thing her and I have in common, it’s our love for all things pasta.
And it’s true, we both love pasta. I think a bowl of spaghetti could easily put a smile on either of our faces.
And then add some garlic?
Bring it on.
Now we’re talking.
This Shrimp Scampi dish is so easy to make, it’s basically fool proof! Just don’t let the noodles sit and clump together like I did though before you put them in the pan, oops… almost fool proof. But get this- the leftovers may be even better than eating it the first day! So if you’re like me and cooked wayyy too much for only two people, don’t fret- it will still taste great tomorrow for lunch.
The original recipe called for white wine, but since no one drinks it in my family, I omitted it and instead just added more butter. I also added a ton of garlic, because I’m a garlic fanatic, in fact next time I may even add more… but then I’m pretty sure my tastebuds will officially die.
And because I posted on my last entry that I was in consideration for an internship at a veterinary hospital, I just wanted to update and say that I ended up getting it, and I start Monday morning! I’m so incredibly excited! But I do have a confession, I’ve never picked up a cat before… and for some reason the fact that I have never done such is kind of making me nervous. I mean, what kind of person wants to go into veterinary medicine and has never picked up a cat?! I guess my excuse could be that when I volunteer all I ever do is work with the dogs… but at the moment it’s sounding like a pretty poor excuse. But that’s the point of an internship… right? To learn? Crossing my fingers I don’t get scratched to death…
Adapted from The Food Addicts
Succulent Shrimp Scampi
3/4 lb. angel hair pasta
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. peeled and deveined large shrimp
4-6 large garlic cloves, minced, or forced through the garlic press
1/2 tsp dried hot red-pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
7 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Cook angel hair pasta just until al dente.
2. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet and sauté shrimp, about 2 minutes on each side. Then transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl and set aside.
3. In the same skillet, add garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper and cook over high heat, about 1 minute.
4. Add butter to the pan and stir until melted.
5. Add in diced tomatoes, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
6. Toss in angel hair pasta and shrimp and evenly coat with the butter sauce.
7. Turn off the heat and add chopped basil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
8. Serve immediately.
Tip: Reserve about 1 cup of cooked pasta water and add it to the sauce to keep the pasta moist, if necessary.