Men sometimes go a couple days without showering. If it’s a weekend, and nobody’s coming over, most men just let it go. I hate to admit this, SlimNation, but I do this maybe once a month when I’m in solitary confinement at the Fortress of Slim Solitude.
Well, a couple days ago, I was tired, dead on my feet. I was starving, but I didn’t want to take a shower and go to the store; I just wanted to barricade myself in the Slim Shack and hibernate. So I took a look around to see what was available.
I call this pot luck pasta. I’ve done it many times. Back when I was a starving musician, I’d take a look in the cupboard and the fridg and make a sauce of whatever I could find. Sometimes it was good. Sometimes it wasn’t.
I once made a pasta sauce with Swiss cheese that was so hard to gag down that one of the guys in the band named it “Fettucine del Cemento.” Seriously.
It sat in the bowl like a mound of muddy muck. It was so chewy that it could’ve pulled the fillings out of your teeth. I could have fixed the front sidewalk with it.
But last night I made this pot luck pasta sauce and it was really good. You know it’s really good when you heat it up the next day and it tastes even better than the day before. And this was good, Slim People.
So, taking inventory at the Slim Shack, I saw that I had some broccoli. I also had a thing of grape tomatoes. I tasted both, because if you take a taste of broccoli, for instance, and your first instinct is to spit it on the floor, you might not want to use it in your sauce.
The broccoli tasted good; the grape tomatoes were some of the most delicious I’ve ever tasted. They were organic, they were not expensive, and they were so good I ate a handful right there. I just kept popping them in my tomato hole. The tomatoes were also beautiful; red, yellow, orange, green.
Then, I looked in the freezer and noticed some frozen shrimp, wild. And on the refrigerator door I had about a half a glass of pinot grigio left in the bottom of a bottle, and I found a Tupperware of toasted pine nuts (pignoli) on the shelf that I had leftover from making pesto sauce.
So I put them all together, and…she was a-so nice! Seriously delish and nutrish.
I put it over pasta, but you can put it over bruschetta, or rice, or on a pizza. The pasta I used had a strange name that I don’t remember, it looked like penne rigate, but it had a fold running down the center. It was in a half-pound package. And it was delizioso!
So, here it is. Slim’s Pot Luck Pasta without the pot. But with all the luck!
Oh, and I took a shower the next day. I didn’t want you Slim People to think Uncle Slimmy had gone all raggedy on ya.
½ pound of pasta (spaghetti or linguine work well, but use what ya gots!)
Olive oil, a couple tablespoons
6 large garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
Crushed red pepper to taste
1 cup broccoli florets (make sure the pieces are small)
½ cup dry white wine
¾ pound medium wild shrimp, de-shelled and de-veined
2 tablespoons of butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half, seeds squeezed out
¼ cup toasted pine nuts (pignoli toasted in a dry pan over medium heat, shake often)
OPTIONAL: freshly grated Parmigiano cheese for schprinkling, will explain later!
HERE WE GO…
Get a large pot, fill it full of cold water, put it on the highest heat possible. ALWAYS KEEP THE HEAT HIGH!
When the water comes to a boil, add a couple tablespoons of coarse Kosher salt.
Add the pasta. Stir often. As the pasta cooks, now let’s whip up the sauce…
Get a large saute pan, put it over medium heat, and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Add the garlic cloves, let them saute a couple minutes until pale gold, then turn over and do the same to the other side. DON’T BURN YOUR GARLIC. It tastes really bitter, Slim Folks.
Add the white wine, turn up the heat to high, and let the wine cook off for a minute or two.
Turn the heat back to medium and add the shrimp in a single layer, sprinkle with a little salt.
Let the shrimp cook for 2 minutes or so, then turn them over, sprinkle a little salt on top.
Add the butter, arrange the pieces between the shrimp.
Let this cook for 2 minutes or so, and then add the grape tomatoes.
Give it a GENTLE stir, and let the tomaters heat up for a minute or two.
REMOVE FROM HEAT, SAUCE IS DONE DA DONE DONE!
The pasta? Remember that?
When the pasta is al dente, firm to the bite, drain it, put it in a beautiful bowl, and drizzle with a little olive oil, give it a stir or three.
Add the sauce right on top of the pasta, and give it a gentle stir.
Dish it up! Put a serving in one of them expensive-looking plates, sprinkle a few pine nuts on top.
Some women folk I know like to put grated Parmigiano cheese on top. Most Italians don’t do this, but if the Slim Woman wants cheese, save yourself some trouble, my Man Friends, and just shut up and grate.