Capellini al Pomodoro

(a.k.a. Presidential Pasta)

In 2021, Joseph R. Biden Jr. celebrated his first Presidents’ Day as the president of the United States. We Googled what some of his favorite foods were so we could cook them in observance of this national holiday. The Washington Post reported that capellini al pomodoro (angel hair pasta mixed in a tomato basil sauce) was his most requested dish when he went on speaking engagements for which he would earn up to $200,000US!!! Here are some headlines:

Eater.com: “Joe Biden just can’t get enough angel hair pasta”

TheWeek.com: “Joe Biden is contractually obligated to receive angel hair pomodoro at every paid speech”

Obviously, pasta pomodoro is the president’s comfort food. After all, his Italian-American wife, Dr. Jill Biden, cooked it for him throughout their marriage. So we cooked capellini al pomodoro, too, for a delicious dinner on Presidents’ Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Delish.com)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound angel hair pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 medium tomatoes (around 4 cups), diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped finely (plus more to garnish)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Cook the pasta al dente or as directed on the package. Drain the hot cooked pasta but reserve about half a cup to make the tomato-basil sauce. Meanwhile, chop the onions and dice the tomatoes.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Sauté the onions and minced garlic until soft and fragrant. Mix in the tomatoes and stir to release the juices. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Stir in the chopped basil. Reduce the heat, cover the pot and let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the pasta and mix well. Pour a little bit of the reserved salted pasta water and stir to make a sauce (add more or less to taste). Stir again to coat the pasta with the sauce. Transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and garnish with extra chopped fresh basil leaves. Serve hot.

Notes

  • We halved the recipe to feed just the two of us.
  • Search our blog under the Theme Menus tab for other presidential and patriotic recipes.

 

Linguine with Shrimp

and Garlic Cream Sauce

Linguine Shrimp

September 15: National Linguine Day

Islander’s co-worker, Luigi M., invited us to dinner with his wife and daughter to celebrate Islander’s promotion from a part-timer to a rare full-timer position in their department back when we lived in Illinois. The hospitable family from Sardinia prepared a delicious dinner of bruschetta (Luigi insists on pronouncing it “broos-ketta”), salad (made with fresh vegetables and herbs from their garden), linguine with shrimp and garlic cream sauce and tiramisu!

We remember Luigi and his family every time we cook linguine (his nickname in Islander’s department was “Luigi Linguine, ” although he always brought his beloved bruschetta to potlucks and probably reserved his pasta dish for special dinners at his place).

In honor of her co-worker and in observance of National Linguine Day, we made linguine with shrimp and garlic cream sauce. Buon appetito!

Recipe

(Adapted from Luigi M.)

  • ½ pound linguine pasta noodles
  • 1 dozen jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Cook the linguine pasta noodles al dente, according to the package. Drain the water and keep the linguine warm. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter and olive oil in medium heat. Sauté the garlic cloves until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley.

Linguine Shrimp

Add the shrimp and cook until pink. Remove the shrimp from the skillet. Stir in the sour cream constantly so it does not separate from the butter and oil. When the sauce has a smooth and creamy consistency, season with salt and pepper. Put the shrimp back into the skillet and mix with the sauce. Put the linguine on plates and pour the sauce and shrimp over the noodles. Garnish with additional parsley (optional) and serve immediately.

Linguine Shrimp

Notes

  • The garlic cloves may be minced instead of kept whole for this recipe.
  • National Pasta Day is October 17. Search our blog for more recipe posts on pasta.

Shrimp, Tomato and Basil Pasta

Shrimp, Tomato and Basil Pasta

October 17: National Pasta Day

When in Rome (Florence and Venice), we did as Italians did and ate pasta! There was a wide variety to choose from (long noodles, short shapes and swirls, tubular types, lasagna, etc.) with several selections of savory sauces. Fresh vegetables, herbs and spices, grated cheese, seafood or meat may be mixed with the pasta for a filling first course (primo piatti) or a major meal! We thought we would gain pounds from the pasta but we did not because we walked off the weight while touring Italy.

For National Pasta Day, we prepared shrimp, tomato and basil fettuccine. The vibrant colors of the red tomatoes and green basil in this dish reflect the colors of the Italian flag and remind us of our wonderful trip to Italy. Buon appetito!

Recipe

(Adapted from Martha Stewart)

Ingredients

  • ½ pound pasta (linguine, fettucine or spaghetti)
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 teaspoons olive oil, divided use
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • 1 pint fresh grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions

Cook the pasta al dente. Drain and set aside. Heat four teaspoons of olive oil in a large pan. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Saute in the oil until pink. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Shrimp, Tomato and Basil Pasta

In the same pan, heat the remaining two teaspoons of olive oil. Saute the garlic for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the canned tomatoes with its juice. Stir in the water and reduce the sauce to about half (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat and mix in the grape or cherry tomatoes.

Shrimp, Tomato and Basil Pasta

Gently mix the cooked pasta into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the basil and shrimp. Serve immediately with a garnish of extra basil leaves or a sprig of parsley.

Shrimp, Tomato and Basil Pasta

Notes

  • Search our blog for other Italian-inspired recipes. Try our tiramisu for a traditional dessert!