In my house, the keeper of the kitchen was always my dad. My mom definitely had a few specialties that entered the dinner rotation, but her creativity was mainly tied up in the room of the house that had her heart: the studio. Everyone has their own creative outlet, and while mom can make magic mixing oil paints and turpentine, my dad cooks up his masterpieces in the kitchen. Take that, gender roles.
While most everything the guy turns out is pretty damn delicious, there are a few things that stand out in the dinner lineup. The best part about living with a good cook is that you can get excited just by discovering certain new ingredients in the fridge. Whenever we saw that cherry tomatoes, capers, and black olives had made their way into the kitchen, there was definitely some serious mealtime anticipation.
This dish is totally inspired by one of my dad’s classics, with a few of my own tweaks added. While my mom and dad express their creativity in separate rooms of the house, I’m glad to combine the two; my dad’s love of cooking and my mom’s artistic flare.
As per usual, I kept it traditional and used spaghetti for my favorite pasta-loving European. But when I saw these gorgeous Golden Zucchini come in at work, I knew exactly where they would end up. For my side of the table, I spun this pretty thing through the spiralizer, and it made the most vibrantly colored zoodles I’ve ever seen.
Capers and olives are two of my favorite things that really took a while to make it to that position. I never really appreciated their briney goodness until I moved to Greece, and even then our love affair was slow going. My favorite olives were the ones from Crete- they were tiny and a little less salty, and a good gateway olive I think. Now I don’t discriminate, I love them all. And capers too, which I used to think were miniature olives but are actually unripened flower buds from a plant that grows in the Mediterranean. I love the little pop of flavor they give off. So good.
Usually my husband won’t start his pasta without a snowy mountain of Parmesean- for real y’all, the boy loves his cheese. We keep a glass jar of pre-grated Parm in the fridge and the amount he eats atop his pasta is totally dependent on what’s left in the jar. Half full? Three quarters? it’s getting emptied either way.
The only exception is when I cook him a pasta dish that involves seafood, then it’s all about sticking to the rules. I’ve even seen him eat all of the fishy stuff first, then proceed with the jar of cheese. But as far as I’m concerned, some culinary rules were meant to be broken, and if I want cheese with my seafood nobody’s gonna stop me.
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 2 shallots
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 anchovy filets
- 1 tbs capers
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1/2 cup black olives, pitted
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
- 1 zucchini or pasta of your preference
- 1/2 pound wild caught shrimp
- Add olive oil to pan and bring to medium high heat. Add sliced shallots and two anchovy fillets. Saute 2-3 minutes, and add chopped garlic and oregano, cooking an additional 2 minutes.
- Next, add white wine, water, cherry tomatoes, sliced bell pepper, capers, olives, tomato paste, and crushed red pepper. Bring to boil and cover, turning down heat and allowing to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare pasta or zoodles (you can julienne them if you don't have a spiralizer). Peel and devein shrimp.
- Add shrimp to pan, cover and continue to cook for another minute or two, or until shrimp are opaque. Turn off heat, add zoodles or noodles to pan and toss to coat.
Don't let me do all the talking! Let me know what you think in the comments.