There’s something consistently comforting about homemade meatballs and tomato sauce for Sunday supper. Maybe it’s the act of mixing and rolling the meat with your bare hands; an organic and ritualistic labor of love. Or, perhaps it’s just the sweet warm aroma of onion, garlic, fresh basil and tomatoes wafting off the stove. Whatever it is, we couldn’t get enough of it this week when we tried Lidia Bastianich’s “polpette” with our spicy tomato-basil sauce. Instead of serving the dish over spaghetti, we baked a pan of polenta and then fried the squares in olive oil. Light crunch on the outside with a soft, warm, heartiness on the inside — perfect with a dollop of tangy sauce.
Posts Tagged ‘Italian’
After a little hiatus from this space in March, I’m kicking off April — and capping a beautiful Easter Weekend — with this wonderful, simple shrimp and pasta dish. I find myself increasingly drawn to “simple” preparations, like this one, in which the flavors, colors, textures of the individual elements of a dish shine for what they are. The vibrant colors of the fresh Roma tomatoes, crisp Italian parsley and wild caught shrimp play big when tossed lightly with spaghetti in an olive oil, white wine, onion, garlic sauce. The juices from the shrimp give the sauce added depth and a couple pinches of dried red pepper flakes give it a little punch. The dish does not have a lot of ingredients and doesn’t take long to prepare, but it’s packed with flavor. I really love how healthy and light this is, too. Perfect for a warm spring or summer evening meal with a tossed salad and crusty bread.
Spaghetti with Shrimp Sauce
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deviened
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 pound ripe roma or plum tomatoes
3/4 pound spaghetti
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped
Red pepper flakes, salt/pepper to taste
(1) Boil spaghetti, drain and set aside.
(2) Saute onion and garlic in olive oil for 3 minutes over low heat in a large fry or saute pan. Then add shrimp and saute over medium heat for 2 minutes, being careful not to overcook.
(2) Add the white wine and cook until liquid begins to evaporate, about 2-3 minutes. Then, add tomatoes and seasoning to taste, cooking for an additional 2 minutes.
(4) Toss spaghetti in the pan with the sauce and shrimp, topping with the fresh chopped parsley.
This is a fantastic dish, compliments of the Pax Christi church cookbook. (Thanks, Auntie Mary Ann!)
The pan-sauteed chicken is topped with a zesty fresh tomato sauce made with fresh basil and capers. Mashed potatoes and a spinach salad were excellent accompaniments.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 Roma or plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons capers
6 large basil leaves cut in thin strips
(1) Trim chicken. Using a meat mallet, lightly pound chicken between sheets of wax paper to 1/2 inch thickness.
(2) Mix flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Coat chicken.
(3) Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook through until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a platter and keep warm.
(4) Add garlic and wine to skillet and stir up any brown bits in the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and chicken broth, bring to a boil, and reduce the liquid by about half. This should take about 5 minutes. Stir in capers and basil and heat through, another minute.
(5) Pour sauce over the chicken and serve.