Spaghetti Puttanesca

This Spaghetti Puttanesca recipe is again from The Sopranos Family Cookbook.  Honestly, I was not impressed when I was dishing this up.  I’ve cooked it before and my version was lighter.  After I took my first bite of this one, all relaxed and away from my kitchen, I was surprised at how different the same dish with the same ingredients could be.  Both are good…just different.

My mother (again!) first told us about Spaghetti Puttanesca when we were kids.  Of course, there’s going to be a related story….families are all about stories, right?  My family especially…

Apparently, this was the dish her second eldest brother, the lawyer in the family, learned from somewhere and introduced to their home.  One day after the war (WW2), he came home with all the ingredients, cooked it for everyone to try.  And of course, he started telling them about its scandalous origins  (which I assume you all know), which, of course shocked his old, widowed mother and his five sisters.  Good thing my grandmother was always a good sport and spoiled her kids rotten, especially after my grandfather was killed during the liberation of Manila.  As a result of that tragic time, Lola Blanca tried harder to be accessible to her children and let the aunts and uncles…especially the uncles…get away with almost anything.  She always remained her loving, laughing self….after an initial, disapproving, “I’m not impressed” kinda look of course. Continue reading “Spaghetti Puttanesca”

Shrimp Garlic Pasta

Food allergies are a terrible thing to live with, especially if it’s shrimp and crustaceans you cannot eat anymore!  Does one really have a choice when the last lobster meal I had sent me to the emergency room half dead?  Goodness, but hat meal was worth it….

Spouse loves shrimps.  He has a  nose like an English hound for the best deals on “Eat All You Can Shrimp” promos from here to Iowa.  For Valentine’s Day, I just had to make him a shrimp dish to make up for all the shrimp he cannot have all the rest of the year. Continue reading “Shrimp Garlic Pasta”

Pasta Fazool

Two years ago, Stepson gave us “A Goomba’s Guide to Life” by Steven R. Schiripa.  Schiripa is better known as Bobby Bacala of HBO’s The Sopranos.  Spouse and I  really enjoyed that book and the show. Since Spouse grew up in New Jersey and his grandparent’s and parent’s last home was just a few blocks from where the Sopranos’ pork store, Satriale’s,  is located (Kearny Avenue Kearny, NJ), you really can’t fault us for being big fans of this show.

The book also has some common Italian-American recipes, some of which  I’ve tried.  One of my favorites is  Pasta Fazool or as they call it in proper Italian, Pasta E Fagioli – noodles and beans.  It’s an Italian comfort food that’s rich tasting and easy to prepare.  The combination of beans and pasta is very healthy because of the complex carbohydrates and proteins of the main ingredients.

Pasta Fazool is actually a soup, but Spouse likes it more like a stew.  I like mine topped with extra virgin olive oil and freshly grated parmesan cheese. The olive oil HAS to be extra virgin to bring out the very earthy flavors of the beef, the basil and the beans.  This is a meal in itself….perfect for a cold winter evening.  I like my Pasta Fazool with crusty Italian bread, red wine followed by a simple green salad of  arugula and mushrooms with a balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing.  Not bad for Tuesday dinner.

Next time you’re in a hurry and want something warm and comforting for dinner, try this recipe. Continue reading “Pasta Fazool”