In recent years we’ve been constant visitors to Italy. We’ve always loved the country and have been vacationing there at least once a year, but since my daughter and her family have taken up residence in Vicenza, a small town in Northern Italy, we’ve been going more often. And when we do go we spend lots of time sampling the local cuisine in and around town, it’s a different experience when you dine where the locals dine and by pass the touristy restaurants that serve substandard fare at very high prices.
One of our favorite local restaurants in town is called Regina’s. Its a tiny place with seating for less than 20 people. But the service if friendly and the food delicious! My favorite dish is Spaghetti ai Frutti de Mare or Seafood Spaghetti. I know when you think spaghetti you think red sauce and meatballs. That’s good too, but if you’re hungry for Seafood or just want something a bit more sophisticated then this dish is just what you need.
Spaghetti ai Frutti de Mare is a pasta dish made with all types of seafood including clams, squid, shrimp, and muscles. It can have a tomato based sauce like Arrabiata or a white sauce like a pesto or Alfredo.
I personally love a lighter sauce made with white wine, lemon juice, and butter. That’s the recipe I’ll share today. I normally make it with shrimp, clams, mussels, and lobster if I can find some. You can use whatever seafood you prefer. It’s good with pretty much any type of seafood.
Here’s the recipe!
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1 Lb. Clams
1 Lb. Mussels
1 Lb. Shrimp – peeled and deveined but leave tail on
2-3 Small Lobster Tails – cut into 1 1/5″ pieces with shell on
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Butter
2-3 Cloves Garlic thinly sliced
1 Tsp. Italian Seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Cup White Wine
2 Cups Chicken Broth
1/2 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Sundried Tomatoes
1 Lb. Cooked Spaghetti
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
In a large pan melt butter in olive oil.
Saute garlic in butter mixture until it starts to cook, be careful not to burn.
Add seasoning, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
Add wine and chicken stock.
Add clams and mussels. Cook until shells open.
Add lobster pieces and cook until shell starts to turn red and meat starts to turn white.
Add shrimp. Cook until shrimp turns pink and lobster is fully cooked.
Lower heat and stir in lemon juice and sundried tomatoes.
Remove from heat and serve over cooked pasta. Garnish with shredded cheese.
Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. It’s high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals; and low in calories and sodium. It’s a versatile vegetable that can be used as a side dish, appetizer, or as a main course ingredient, think stir-fry!
Here’s one of my favorite asparagus recipes. These Asparagus Pockets are tasty, easy, and look impressive. They’ll make a great appetizer at a party, specially during the holidays. They’re so easy to make, you can whip them out in less than an hour. Guests will think you spent hours preparing them!
Here’s my recipe, hope you love them as much as we do!
– 24 Asparagus tips – washed and trimmed to about 8” long
– 2 cans refrigerated crescent dough
– 1/2 shredded Parmesan cheese
– 1 Egg – beaten
Pre-heat over to 375 degrees
Unroll crescent dough – dough is pre-cut into 8 triangles and unroll as 4 sets of triangles together forming a rectangular piece
Separate rectangles – Do not separate it into triangles – you should have 8 rectangles with a diagonal line scored from one corner to the other
Press the scored line together to form a smooth rectangle
Place 3 asparagus tips diagonally across the dough – from corner to corner
Sprinkle about 1/2 tsp of cheese over asparagus
Fold free corners over each other to form the pocket. Top and bottom of asparagus should peek out. Check picture above.
Place each pocket on a parchment covered baking sheet.
Brush each pocket with beaten egg.
Bake in oven about 20 minutes or until dough is golden brown.
The other day I was looking for something easy to whip up to add to our Sunday night barbecue. I usually make garlic knots but didn’t have any frozen bread dough. I didn’t want to make a grocery run so I hunted around the kitchen to see what I could come up with. Well, I found a box of frozen puff pastry in the freezer and some shredded cheeses. That’s when I decided I’d make Cheese Straws!
These Cheese Straws are super simple to make and require just a few ingredients. Best of all they are too yummy!
For our Sunday night barbecue I served Cheese Straws instead of dinner rolls, the family loved them. But you can have them as a snack too! Because they’re made with puff pastry they’re light, buttery, and flaky!
Here’s how you make them!
makes 16 pieces
Pre-Heat over to 425°
1 Pkg. Frozen Puff Pastry sheets Thawed- each package comes with 2 sheets
1/2 Cup Melted Butter
1 Tbs. Garlic Powder
1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/3 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 Egg Beaten
Melt butter and stir in Garlic Powder
Toss together cheeses
Unfold one sheet of puff pastry and brush with butter mixture
Evenly distribute 1/4 of cheese mixture on half of the pastry sheet
Fold pastry sheet in half over the cheese and brush with butter
Evenly distribute another 1/4 of cheese mixture on the top – lightly press cheese into the pastry dough to keep it in place
Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter cut the pastry sheet into 8 strips
Take the first strip in twist it a couple of times
Place twisted strip on parchment covered baking sheet
Repeat with the rest of the strips
Repeat this whole process with the other sheet of puff pastry
Brush beaten egg over all the strips°
Place twists in the PRE-HEATED oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.