What’s a good thing to do after walking into the house, leaving your frenetic day at the doorstep? One answer could be go directly to the kitchen, fill the pasta pot with salted water and get it boiling. With that one gesture, a mid-week meal for 2, a family, even a crowd, could be on the table in less than 30 minutes. The magic here is by quickly throwing together one or two more quick homemade meals each week you’ll drop a pound or two just by less pre-supper snacking/drinking and no bread basket. (Drat it, those calories do count.)
Our CooktheBookFriday’s recipe choice this week is a fabulous PASTA with SHRIMP, SQUASH, LEMON and HERB bundle. It’s effortless, versatile and so, so lemony. Using all the same ingredients, in a flash you can mix together an Arugula Salad. Time to ring the dinner bell. NOW is the time to pour the wine, silence the cell phone and start the conversation.
It’s been a rough week for our world, not a good time to feed our feelings or drink our despair. So, don’t. It doesn’t make me proud to admit my soothing tool-of-choice is binge-watching Netflix’s Hart of Dixie each evening. Lucky for me there are 4 seasons of episodes. To my mind, 2 or 3 shows each night is better than Ambien. My daughter, Melissa, whose whole business revolves around healing Wounded Warriors, people with health issues and young people, texted me yesterday, “I am sending as much positive love energy into the universe as possible.” (She is such a better person than me. Respect.)
I’m especially thinking about our longtime Australian and Puerto Rican blogging colleagues who, beginning with our French Fridays with Dorie group, I’ve known for 10 years. Prayers for you, Gaye, Sanya and Adriana. Mardi, hoping your Mom and family stay safe. While they all are safe now, their countries aren’t.
During New Year’s week, Dorie Greenspan always bakes her famous World Peace Cookies. Many of us involved in Dorie’s virtual cooking groups have adopted that same habit. To discover the story behind WPC and for the recipe, click here. Dorie sends a holiday letter to her followers also. This year’s letter is kind and thoughtful, mirroring the woman she is. I’m sharing this graph with you:
“Every year, as midnight strikes on December 31, I’ve said the same thing: May it never be worse. We’ve had good times and we’ve had very difficult times – as everyone has – but we’ve made it through, and so I usually wish for stability; it’s the baseline I hold on to. But not this year! I want better this year. Not just for our little family, but for every family. I always want peace, but now I want a bigger peace, a broader peace, a peace that includes all of us.” Dorie Greenspan
STEP-by-STEP in PICTURES
PASTA with SHRIMP, SQUASH, LEMON and HERB BUNDLE by Dorie Greenspan, Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook
You may serve this hot, cold, or room temperature. I think it’s best hot.
3 large lemons
1 pound of green and yellow zucchini
1 pound of pasta (Fusilli, Penne or Mini-Rigatoni)
1/2 Cup of Olive Oil
1 pound of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt & Pepper
Ground Cayenne Pepper
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
2 Tomatoes, cored and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces.
1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Dill
1/2 Cup Snipped Chives
ARUGULA SALAD: This recipe for a simple Arugula Salad is all over the Internet. It serves 4-6. Whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, season with teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Put a sizable amount of arugula, 4-5 packed cups, into a bowl and, if you wish, shave Parmesan cheese on top. (I love this recipe which is a favorite at Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana in Henderson, Nevada.)
- Zest the lemons, juice them and throw the remaining lemon halves into a large pot of heavily salted water. Bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. When the pasta is cooked, save 1/2 cup of pasta water and set it aside. Drain the pasta. Set aside.
2. Salt, pepper and sprinkle some Cayenne Pepper over the shrimp. Pour 1/4 Cup of olive oil into a skillet turned to medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 3-4 minutes. Turn once after 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a bowl.
3. Cut the squash into quarters the long way and then cut each piece into 1/4″ wedges. Put squash, seasoned with salt/pepper in the same now-empty skillet, adding oil only if necessary. (I didn’t need to add more oil.) Cook and turn as needed for 4-5minutes. Transfer to the shrimp bowl.
4. With the same skillet at medium-high, add 2 tablespoons of oil and toss the pasta around until it is coated. Add the shrimp, squash, reserved pasta water, lemon juice and butter. Stir to blend, add salt, pepper and cayenne pepper as needed, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, including juices if there are any. Turn everything into the serving bowl with the zest, top with herbs, and stir to mix. Serve Immediately.
This post follows my progress cooking each recipe from
Dorie Greenspan’s “Everyday Dorie” along with those participating
in the online Cookthe BookFridays group.
We do not publish recipes unless they are already on the Internet. We do encourage you to buy the book and join in the fun.