Sunday, May 8, 2011

Freshly Simply Spring

The trees are in full bloom.  Green is surrounding us both outdoors and in our grocery stores.  The rich, thick comfort food of winter is being replaced by the fresh, bright and very green produce arriving in stores.  This is by far one of my favorite food seasons!  One of my favorite delicacies, artichokes (carciofo in Italian), has arrived.  They come in all different shapes and sizes.  I picked a purple one up tonight and I can't wait to indulge in this delightful treat tomorrow evening!  A more versatile and accessible vegetable is asparagus.  It is this time of year that produces the thin, delicate, and crisp veggie that I adore to work with and eat!  I have too many favorite ways to eat it, so I'll share just one for now.  Pan seared to an al dente finish is the best.  As you sear the asparagus over high heat, the flavor intensifies and the color brightens.  When seared for only two to three minutes, it stays crisp on the inside and deliciously tender on the outside.  One of my favorite seasonings is salt, pepper, and lemon zest.  Finish it with a splash of balsamic vinegar at the end, and this dish is like eating green candy!  Tonight I choose to steal a beautifully simple shrimp scampi recipe from my friends Anna and Diego and added asparagus to it.  Delicious!  I can not wait to make this delight for all my friends and family!

Shrimp scampi and cheese ravioli with asparagus.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I did tonight, and I will tomorrow for lunch!

3 garlic cloves
1 handfull of Italian flat leaf parsley
1 bunch asparagus, bottoms discarded and steams cut into 1 inch pieces
6 oz. shrimp
1 lb. Cheese Ravioli
3 Tbs. butter or Olive Oil
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
salt to taste
Freshly grated Pecorino cheese

Boil 2 qt. water for ravioli.  Clean, devein, and detail shrimp.  Pat dry.  Chop garlic, parsley and asparagus.  In a saute pan, heat butter.  Toss shrimp in saute pan for 3 minutes or until shrimp is fully cooked.  Remove shrimp from saute pan.  Salt the boiling water and add ravioli.  In the saute pan, add asparagus, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt.  Sear asparagus for 2 minutes.  Add garlic and parsley and toss.  Turn heat on saute pan to med-low.  Add shrimp back to saute pan and toss.  The ravioli should be floating in the boiling water by this time.  Once all the ravioli is cooked, add ravioli to asparagus and shrimp mixture and toss.  Serve immediately.  Top with a sprinkle of freshly grated Pecorino cheese.  Enjoy!


  1. omg...this is going on my grocery list for this week! Love you!!!

  2. Just made this for a little dinner party I was having. Served with some fresh asiago bread and a bottle of pilot noir. Fabulous! The secret? Let the butter brown a bit. Keep up the good work, Stack!