Day 213–Local Shrimp and Pasta

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My wonderful daughter brought a gift to me a couple of months ago and I am just now delving into it. Knowing how much I absolutely LOVE Italy, she brought me the “Under the Tuscan Sun Cookbook.” Not only are there wonderful recipes using fresh vegetables and seafood for summer, there are lots of hearty baked dishes to try when the weather turns cold. YUM!

When I say I love Italy, you need to understand that I love it so much I changed my will to have my ashes sprinkled in the olive groves of Cinque Terre. The food we had during our trip around Tuscany featured fresh, local foods that were cooked simply and were absolutely amazing. No crazy food towers with mystery ingredients and very little, if any, processed foods. And, of course, wine. With everything. Well, not breakfast, but you get the idea.

This recipe is adapted from the Tuscan Sun Cookbook using what we have locally. We had this last night and we agree that this is definitely a “do again” recipe. It is super healthy, quick and very, very easy to make. We use only local shrimp, but any US shrimp would be fine. We steer clear of shrimp not wild caught in the US because of the environmental degradation caused by many oversees shrimp farms, but you could also substitute almost any shellfish here or sub fresh mozzarella cubes for the shrimp and make it ovo/lacto vegetarian!

Buon appetito!

Local Shrimp and Pasta

  • 3/4 lb. orricchiete (“little ear”) or small shell pasta
  • 1 1/2 c. fresh shelled peas
  • 1/4 c. onion, diced
  • 5 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. local, wild caught shrimp
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. When water is boiling, add a generous helping of kosher salt and the pasta. This pasta will need to cook about 12 minutes.
  2. While pasta is cooking, add 2 Tbsp. olive oil to a saute pan and heat at medium low.
  3. Add the shelled peas and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the onion, salt and pepper and continue sauteing for another 3 minutes until peas and onion are just softened.
  4. Add pea mixture to a bowl and puree with an immersion (stick) blender (you could also use a food processor). Set aside.
  5. In the same skillet, heat the remaining olive oil and add the shrimp, garlic, salt and pepper. Saute until shrimp are just pink and remove from heat.
  6. When pasta has cooked, drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Add pasta and all other ingredients to the pot and stir to combine.
  7. Serve and eat up!

Day 111–What’s Fresh At the Market?

Although I know that not everyone reading this blog is from North Carolina, I’ve had a couple of requests to share information about what is currently available at the farmer’s markets. Since I’m there anyway, I’m glad to do that!

I just returned from the farmer’s market on my lunch break and that place is hopping, I tell you! During the winter, I had no problem driving up and finding a prime parking spot. Today, I had to circle around to the back of the market to find any available spots. Lots of good eats today! Ready? Here goes:

  • Strawberries
  • Asparagus (green and purple)
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Fresh spring peas (shelled)
  • Onions
  • Lettuce–red leaf, green leaf, butter
  • Greens–mustard, kale, swiss chard, spinach
  • Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes (hothouse)–mostly “Trust” variety
  • Cucumbers (hothouse)
  • Parsnips
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Honey
  • Herbs
  • Bedding plants
  • Garden plants (vegetable and herb plants)

In addition to some fresh asparagus, I scored a fresh roasting chicken from my friends at Rainbow Farm. Yay! Can’t wait for Sunday supper!

Our weather here is not supposed to be great this weekend (but we do need the rain badly). Still, I’m hoping to get out and do some strawberry picking with my family so we can make more jam! Have a great weekend at your farmer’s markets and get those fresh veggies!