Seafood Spaghetti in bento

No.155

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This week has been a full “cooking” week at home for me, I really feel I have been spending much time in my kitchen, which of course I do not mind at all, it is my most favorite place in the whole world!  I have a small book shelf for my cook books in my kitchen and I have one good book, it is called “Smak av Italia”, it means “Taste of Italy”, I have had this book for a long time and just love this book.  A large section of this book is designated to teach us about italian Pasta. There are so many variations of pasta but I think I like Spaghetti best.

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Specially when it is precisely cooked al-dente and served with seafood in good virgin olive oil sauce, I will be quiet and please don’t disturb me.  Spaghetti alle vongole bianco is my favorite but today I made it with shrimp and scallops for my bento.

Seafood Spaghetti for bento  (1 bento) 

  • Dried spaghetti    90-100g
  • 3 frozen jumbo shrimps, thawed
  • 60g scallops
  • Fresh lemon balm leaves, minced    6
  • Salt, black pepper
  • Lemon    2 slices
  • Virgin olive oil     3 table spoons

1.  Clean the shrimps and scallops. Wash them well with salted cold water. Pat dry with kitchen paper and cut into small pieces.
2.  Cook spaghetti according to directions and drain.
3.  Heat a skillet and add olive oil. Sautee shrimps and scallops. Season with salt and pepper. When they are cooked, take them out on a plate.
4.  Add the pasta in the skillet and mix with the oil and the juice from shrimps and scallops.
5.  Take it into a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, add some lemon balm.
6.  Insert a small fork and twirl up nicely on the fork.

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I used a small fork made for children (on the left) today but I also use a long one when I am using thicker pasta.  Then it is useful to use a small cup and twirl in it.

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7.  Carefully place it in your bento box and sprinkle minced lemon balm leaves

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8.  Place the sautéed shrimps and scallops, garnish more lemon balm leaves. Add small pieces of lemon to finish.

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I uploaded a photo of this bento on my Facebook page this morning and got a nice comment.

Angeline wrote : I don’t like this bento, Rie….. I LOVEEEE it!!! It’s so beautiful with the succulent prawns, and how you twirled the spaghetti into little bundles, the lemon slices, the parsley, it’s so artistic and looks so delicious, I just wish I can reach my hand into the screen of my hp and take it out to eat. Serious, that’s really how I feel! And the raspberries on the greens looks so fresh! ♡♡♡
Can I know how you cooked the spaghetti? I always only do aglio olio or tomato sauce.

Thank you Angeline, so here it is and it is for you. I hope you could see how I cooked it and twirling was fun, fun, fun!
Maybe that is why I like Spaghetti?

Thank you!
xxx Rie

 

 

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Pasta Recipe 10 – Pasta with caramelizes red onion and shrimp in tomato cream sauce

No.80

The other day I was watching a cooking video of Jamie Oliver.  Actually it was a pair of sisters with itallian family background that was cooking in the video. They were showing a pasta dish with caramelized leek and crispy pancetta. It looked good and it inspired me to make this recipe.

Red onion is a fantastic vegetable. It has a mild taste than yellow onions and it gets very sweet when you treat them right over the heat.  I often buy red onions and I enjoy using it in different ways, but I have to say I like it best when it is sautéed with olive oil and brown sugar, and no harm to add  some loving touch.  If you have not tried this yet, please try. You can make a plenty of it and keep it in your fridge for some days or freeze it in your freezer. Make a toast and put a slice of cheese and put this caramelized red onion on top. Et voila! I think the combination of the cheese and the sweet red onion will give you a good breakfast.  (If you want more volume, fry an egg and put on the toast as well)  Bon Appetit!

Serves 2 

Pasta   150 – 200g
Red onion       1/2 pieces
Brown sugar (Cassonade)   1.5 table spoon

Large shrimps (fresh or frozen)    6 pieces
Small tomatoes       4
Heavy cream       100cc
Fresh oregano        1 table spoon, minced
Dry basil                1 table spoon
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

1.  Cut each tomato into 8.
2.  Clean the shrimps, wash well with salted cold water. Pat dry with kitchen paper and
cut each shrimp into 2.
3.  Mince the red onion.  Heat a fry pan, add 1 tea spoon of olive oil and sautee the onion
over medium heat.  When the color changed to transparent, add the brown sugar.

4.  Turn the heat to high and caramelize the onion with sugar.  When the onion is fully
covered by sticky sugar, turn off the heat.

5.  Start to cook the pasta.
6.  Heat a pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and sautee the shrimps.
Add salt and pepper.
7.  Add the tomatoes and cook until all the tomatoes are dissolved like sauce.
add oregano and the red onion.

8, Bring the heat to low and add cream.  Cook for 5 minutes. Add Dry basil.

9.  Mix the sauce and the pasta in a bowl. Toss.

10.  Plate it on your dinner plate and Bon Appetit!

Rie

Pasta Recipe 9 – Developing ragù bolognese

No.78

Ragù bolognese, also known as meat sauce, is a staple dish for many people including my family and myself. It is my mother, she makes FANTASTIC meat sauce and she cooked Spaghetti meat sauce for us at home. I have been to many places in Italy and in the world and have tried Ragù bolognese here and there but still my mom’s sauce is the best. (Maybe she has some Italian blood?)  I try my best but everytime I make this sauce, I feel I still have to improve. I keep asking my mother for her secret but it has not been disclosed yet over the phone, Skype and Facebook. Maybe one day I will find the secret directly from her when we make meat sauce together at her kitchen in Japan.  Until then I will keep working on this recipe…..

There is a phrase about cooking meat sauce and it goes like this :
“If you don’t have red wine, don’t even think about making meat sauce!”

Red wine is very necessary in this recipe. When you have a party and have some leftover red wine, please remember you have this recipe.

Serves 4

Minced beef               800g
Olive oil                     2 table spoons

Onion                        1 middle sized onion
Carrot                        1 middle sized carrot
Celery                        1

Garlic                         3 cloves, crushed

Red wine                   150-200cc
Tomato in can           2  (400g each)
Flour                         2 table spoons
Beef consomme cube     1.5 pieces
Bay leaves                 2
Oregano, basil
salt, black pepper
Ketchup, Tonkatsu sauce   2 table spoons each

grated parmesan cheese

1.  Put onion, carrot and celery in a food processor and mince.
2.  Heat the oil in a large pan and add garlic, fry over medium heat.
3.  Add onion, carrot and celery and fry 7-8 minutes.
4.  Bring the heat a little bit higher and add the minced beef. Do not put
1 huge chunk in the pan. Use your fingers and crumble. Fry 15 min.
Salt and pepper.

5.  Pour in the wine and stir well to mix beef and vegetables with red wine.
6.  Bring to a boil and let it cook for 10 minutes.
7.  Add flour and mix well.
8.  Add tomatoes, consomme cube, herbs. Mix well.
9.  Let it simmer and cook for about 70 minutes over low-medium heat.
Stir occasionally.

10.  When 50 minutes have passed, add in 2 table spoons of ketchup and
1 table spoon of tonkatsu sauce.  Please taste and adjust.

11,  Cook your pasta and serve this sauce over it.

Bon appetit!