Posts Tagged ‘white wine’

Spaghetti with Prawns and Arugula - photo from foodily.com

Spaghetti with Prawns and Arugula – photo from foodily.com

Before we begin, how about a brief lesson in the etymology of the word, arugula?  Lately I’ve been using a lot of arugula and although I don’t necessarily think of it as a winter green, it keeps popping up in my recipes or salads.  I think maybe it’s that in the summer and especially in The Garden State, your options for locally grown red and green leaf lettuce are there for the picking.  And there is a heartiness to this densely dark, peppery green that is so perfect for my fav winter salad of arugula, sliced oranges, sweet onion rings, a couple of cherry tomatoes and nicoise olives all drizzled with the best EV olive oil in the house.  Sprinkle some coarse salt, basil and oregano on the top and there you have a great salad perfect for these cold and gray days – think citrus!

OK now for the origin of the word:  What we refer to as Arugula is known as Rocket in England and among many Italian-Americans, ruccola.  The Calabresan word for this green leaf is arucola and since so many of Italian-Americans can trace their roots to southern Italy, it seems likely we have Americanized it into Arugula.  Across the sea, in northern Italy it’s known as ruchetta which eventually worked its way over the Alps into France and became ruquette and once it crossed the English Channel, it became rocket!


1 lb spaghetti

sea salt

freshly ground pepper

EV olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1-2 dried red chillis, crumbled

1 lb of peeled raw prawns

1 small wineglass of white wine

2 heaping TBS of tomato puree or 6 sun-dried tomatoes blitzed in a blender

juice and zest of 1 lemon

2 handfuls of rocket, roughly chopped

** a lug is a pour of olive oil; when the bottle makes the first glug sound, that’s a lug.


Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling, salted water according to directions

Meanwhile heat 3 good lugs** of olive oil in a large braising pan or skillet and toss in the garlic and the chillis. As the garlic begins to color, add the prawns and sauté them for a minute.  Add the white wine and tomato purée and simmer for a couple of minutes.

When the pasta is ready, drain it in a colander, reserving a little of the cooking water. Toss the spaghetti with the sauce, squeeze in the lemon juice, add half the chopped rocket, adding a little of the reserved pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce a bit, and correct the seasoning.  Divide between 4 plates and sprinkle with the grated lemon zest and the rest of the rocket leaves.

Recipe from Jamie Oliver.com

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Martha Stewart Living 2005

Martha Stewart Living 2005

This is a versatile dish that is seasonless;  It is as good cold as a pasta salad as it is warm for a weeknight supper.  This is a great vegetarian pasta with some added health benefit from the whole wheat pasta.  I have to admit, I just can’t rave about whole wheat pasta, I don’t like it.  Maybe I have to force myself to eat it consistently and perhaps then I will appreciate its flavor.  Flavor? Hah, I don’t think it has much but then again I am a big fan of Barilla pasta.  So either follow the recipe to the letter or do I as often do, which is mix the whole wheat shells with regular shells – hey it only makes the dish more interesting!


1 cup frozen shelled edamame

10 oz asparagus trimmed and cut into 2 1/2″ pieces

1 lb. whole wheat shell-shaped pasta

2 TBS plus 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil

1 shallot finely chopped

1/3 cup white wine

Finely grated  zest of 1 lemon, plus 3TBS fresh lemon juice (1 lemon total)

2 1/2 tsp coarse salt

2 cups baby arugula (about 1 oz)

2 oz yellow grape tomatoes or other cherry-type tomatoes, halved (1 cup)

2 TBS freshly grated ricotta salata

2 TBS chopped fresh chives

Freshly ground pepper


Cook edamame and asparagus in boiling water until just tender, 3-4 minutes. Drain, and set aside.

Bring large pot of water to boil, add pasta, cook until al dente.  Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water.

Heat 2 tsp oil in large skillet or braising pan over med heat.  Add shallots, cook stirring occasionally until translucent, about 4 minutes..  Add wine, bring mixture to a boil.  Cook until liquid is reduced by half.  Add lemon juice, edamame, asparagus, pasta and 1 cup reserved liquid.  Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt.  Toss well.  Add arugula and tomatoes, toss.  Top with ricotta salata and chives.  Drizzle with remaining 2 TBS olive oil, sprinkle with lemon zest and 1 1/2 tsp salt.  Season with pepper.

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living 2005

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I wouldn't - Would you?

I wouldn’t – Would you?

I mean really where would our society be without a set of rules and a protocol of niceties?  But not wearing white after Labor Day?  Who said so and why?  My friend Gail posted a link (from the web site Mental Floss) on Facebook that answers that question and so I’m going to post the link in this blog. 

But first I’m going on record as YES I was and am one of those people who adhere to that ancient admonition about not wearing white after Labor Day.  I didn’t know I was following in the footsteps of some former elitist class but then again as a child of the 50’s that was how I was taught and so I passed it on to my daughter born in the late 70’s.  I know she followed that rule for some years after she left home but now it’s doubtful especially since she is living in Florida!

No White Shoes

No White Shoes

My husband on the other hand strictly adheres to the no spectator shoes before Memorial Day and after Labor Day.  It may be an antiquated way of thinking and behaving but when surrounded by a couple of generations that seem to have a no holds barred and anything goes attitude, it feels good to cling a few of the old rules.  Decorum has its place in society. Or would you rather walk down the street and pass young men with their pants hanging below their rear ends or girls wearing colorful bras and an open shirt or short shorts so short one wonders why not just wear the thong that the whole world can see anyway?  Or watch an awards show and see the entertainers half or more naked on the stage (because really what is that all about?).  Yes I must be getting on in years, showing my age (and my sensibilities).  But it isn’t fun to be on a bus or train trapped by loud-speaking-totally-unconcious-of-the-world-around-them youths who carry on phone and personal conversation at a decibel level practically illegal!

They're Everywhere!

They’re Everywhere!

So YES I will stop wearing white after Labor Day, No I will not wear gloves or a hat when I go out shopping, YES I try to wear age-appropriate clothing, NO I will not carry on a cell phone conversation on the bus, in an elevator or during dinner in a restaurant.  YES I always allow people older than myself out of the elevator or through a doorway before me and NO I don’t wear suede UGGS in the spring and summer with a Sundress!



Well now that I’ve had my rant, here’s the link to the article:  http://mentalfloss.com/article/12424/why-can%E2%80%99t-you-wear-white-after-labor-day

Some Things Are OK!

Some Things Are OK!


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