Friday, July 22, 2011

" Zesty Shrimp Pasta "

Pantry: Italian Essentials

A well-stocked pantry makes whipping up a delicious well-balanced Italian meal a snap. Countless dishes can be made from ingredients on hand, the options are limitless. Most major grocery stores carry many items imported from Italy. Other sources for those main ingredients would be Italian specialty stores in your area, or perhaps you may consider ordering online. If your grocery store does not carry your item, you can ask a manager if they might be able to order your ingredient for you. By stocking your kitchens with a few basic ingredients, you will be ready to prepare many Italian recipes. Premium ingredients are crucial to Italian cooking. The better your tomatoes, olive oils, and cheeses are the better your dishes will be. The Italian table is the heart of the family, a celebration that comes from making and eating a delicious meal. If you use the freshest ingredients and what is in season, you will find that you can create the most flavorful dishes.
In my family as in most Italian kitchens, you will find a large amount if not all of the following items in the pantry. These ingredients are essential to creating a traditional Italian meal. Check, if your pantry is stocked with any of these items, if not it is time to go shopping….

Cans: Tomatoes-whole & crushed, Tomato sauce & paste, Italian style stewed tomatoes, Beans-dried or caned, Mushrooms, Anchovies, Olives-Green & Black.

Grandmother Julia
(Mothers side)
Dry: Flour; semolina or all purpose, Quick rise yeast, Rice- Arborio, Sea salt, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Canola oil, Cornmeal, Breadcrumbs flavored or unflavored & Panko, Broths/stocks, Sun dried tomatoes, Nuts-Almonds, Pine Nuts, Hazel nuts, Walnuts, Pistachio nuts, Figs, granulated and confectioner’s sugar.

Great Grandmother
Gaetano (Fathers side)
Jars: Pesto, Minced Garlic, Oregano dried, Black pepper, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Anise seeds, Artichoke hearts, Olives, Pepperocini, Gairdiniera, Vinegar-red, white and balsamic, Red & White wine for cooking, (always buy a wine that you would drink) Dried Pastas, Capers, Espresso Coffee, Vanilla Bean Pure Extract, Raisins, Honey.

Refrigerator items: Sausages & Salami, Pepperoni, Pancetta, Proscuitto, Parmesan & Mozzarella Cheese, Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese, Butter-salted & un-salted, Eggplant, green vegetables such as Escarole, Broccoli Rabe, Spinach, Swiss-chard.

Freezer items: Frozen Vegetables, Meats, Seafood, Homemade stock in containers, Pre-made sauces.

Great Grandmother
Sofia (Mothers side)
Fresh items: Garlic, Parsley, Basil, Mint leaves, Bay leaves, Onions, Peppers: Red/Green/Yellow, Zucchini, Tomatoes, Lemons, Whipped cream, Mascarpone Cheese, Potatoes, Cheese, Meats, Seafood, Fish, Chicken, Breads, Fruits of all kinds: grapes, plums, pears, apples, pomegranates, oranges, etc.
Remember there are so many additional pantry items that you can stock, the list is endless, but with this starter list you will be able to begin cooking the Italian way. All you have to do is add some of these ingredients and you will be all set to prepare an authentic Italian meal that will impress your family. My recipe for this week is incredible. The combination of all of these Italian ingredients not only makes this dish very tasty but the aromas fill your home with love. So try this delicious pasta recipe for your family, especially that your pantry is filled with these mouth watering ingredients. You can also prepare a crisp green tossed salad and some slices of warm soft Italian bread to accompany your dish. Happy Cooking!

Zesty Shrimp Pasta

Total time 25 min / Prep 10 min / Servings is for 6

Ingredients:1/2 lb. Linguine, uncooked
3/4 cup prepared Good Seasons Zesty Italian Dressing Mix (divided)
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 large Onion, thinly sliced
1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, quartered
1 lb. uncooked cleaned large shrimp
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 red pepper sliced
Add some sliced almonds

Directions:Cook pasta as directed on package meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Stir in mushrooms, onions, red pepper and artichokes; cook 3 min or until onions are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp and parsley then stir. Cook 2 min or until shrimp are pink and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Now drain the pasta; return to pot. Add shrimp mixture and remaining dressing; toss lightly. Sprinkle with cheese.

Here are the answers to last weeks’ “Food Trivia” Questions.

What percentage of a lemon is juice?
A. Lemons contain 30 to 45 percent juice depending on variety, climate, maturity when harvested, and storage conditions.

Two states have official beverages. Florida's is orange juice. What is the other state and its beverage?
A: Ohio: tomato juice.

French monks in 610A.D created the pretzel shape. What was it designed to resemble?
A: A little child's arms in prayer.

What flavor ice cream did Dolly Madison serve at the inaugural festivities in 1812?
A: Strawberry.

What is the traditional food served a Wimbledon each year? A: Strawberries and cream.

How many lemons does the average lemon tree yield per year?
A: 1,500. The trees usually bloom throughout the year, with the fruit picked 6 to 10 times a year.

What are the two most cultivated fruit trees in the world?
A: Number one is the Apple and number two is the Peach.

What do avocados, eggplants, cucumbers, chilies, and tomatoes have in common?
A: They are all botanically fruits, that are most usually prepared and served as vegetables.

How did you score? Did you get them all correct? Hope that you enjoyed “Food Trivia.”

Till Next time……
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