Ooo, I should have saved the roasted Fall veggies for tonight – it’s straight up cold outside! Didn’t even reach 70 degrees today!
With the cold weather, comes the inevitable change in scenery. I’ve been turning my nose up at the shifting colors of my neighbor’s tree leaves for a good month now, but it’s finally time I acknowledge it.
Are you excited?! I am. I cannot WAIT to get to the local apple orchard. Last year was a blast! Hmmm, that post makes me feel like I need to get new sunglasses. I’ve been rocking the same pair for a long time! It’s hard though. My face size is somewhere between child and adult, aka nothing fits right, so when you find a pair that semi fits, you HOLD ON TIGHT!
In other news, it only took the entire summer, but I declared my basil plant fit to be plucked today!
Who knew it’d take four and a half months to grow a basil plant from seed to seedling?! Sheesh!
The leaves were a wee bit smaller then I would have liked, but I’m tired of waiting…
plus I had plans to tear them up over my Italy-inspired dinner of Pasta Margherita!
The pasta of the Pasta Margherita was this Ziti Tagliati Ben and I brought back from Praiano.
Don’t you love the shape?!
Each noodle is super long, so I get more bang for my buck,
plus it’s great for trapping sauce and goodies inside.
While my pasta boiled away on the stove, I sliced up some fresh garlic to make fried garlic chips as a base for my dish.
I added the sliced garlic to ~1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, heated in a large skillet over medium heat, and fried for ~1 minute, stirring almost constantly as to not burn the chips.
When the garlic was golden brown, I added in some frozen –> thawed shrimp and red pepper flakes, and let them heat through.
At this point, I added the mixture to the cooked & drained pasta, then let out an audible "D’OH!!!!" as I realized I completely forgot about the tomatoes. I forgot about the tomatoes!!
I quickly chopped up four Roma tomatoes and cooked them until they just started to break down in some extra virgin olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar and some salt & pepper. Problem solved!
Everybody in the pasta pot, toss with some feta cheese and a little more olive oil, then plate up and top with ripped basil!
My Iowa kitchen turned into an Italian trattoria, if only for the night!
I was bound & determined to cook my pasta to al dente perfection, like all the restaurants we ate at in Italy managed to do, and I think I did a pretty good job! This pasta shape was fantastic btw – perhaps my new favorite?!
And, ok, the shrimp wasn’t falling apart tender, but omg you HAVE to sauté shrimp in garlic infused oil sometime. It is fantastic!
Spicy red pepper, salty feta, fresh tomatoes and home-grown basil. Deeelish!
A second large scoop has left me stuffed. Stuffed I tell you.
Well, I’m off to go show our vacation pictures to my parents – I haven’t seen my Dad since I got back! I’m coming Pops!
Have a good night!
What’s your favorite pasta shape?