When I'm not home taking care of a 3 month old puppy, I'm traveling. I spent some time in the southwest visiting family and friends... all in different locations. We started out in Phoenix, followed by several days in Palm Springs. My husband's goal is to see all of the national parks in the U.S. Many of them he's already been to (many without me). But on this occasion I accompanied him to Joshua Tree and Sequoia National Parks.
Of the two parks, Joshua Tree was my favorite. The rock formations were amazing.....
No....................................................................I did not sleep in a tent
Plus, in Joshua Tree's favor... it is not 7000 feet above sea level as is Sequoia National. Those who know me well, know it is extremely difficult for me to be captive in a car driving up the side of a mountain. I act obnoxiously, I've been told. It's a trait I am not proud of, and I feel badly for anyone who has to put up with my behavior. But you know... that's just the way it is. I'm sure I have many other sterling qualities that compensate for my disappointing display on the mountain side...
I also didn't pack for Sequoia National Park. Before we left, I read the 90 degree forecasts for the desert and never imagined being cold, in a place that had just received 3 feet of snow. No winter coat packed. No boots. Nothing warm. But... it was beautiful.
After spending two days in the mountainous winter wonderland, we left Sequoia with a slow descent down the mountain (tire chains required) and headed south to warmth and a couple of days with my husband's relatives outside of L.A. The last leg of our journey took us to Tucson and a visit that was very special to me. We spent time with Ginny and Ron; friends we made when I was a student at the Kansas City Art Institute back in the 70's, when I was in the Fiber Department and Ron in Ceramics. It was a visit that never felt like we parted ways when school ended so many years ago.
The Broccoli and Shrimp Pasta recipe is my version of a beautiful meal made by Ron and enjoyed outdoors... something we won't be doing in Saint Paul fore another 3 months (if that soon). Serve with some really good bread and glasses of white wine!
RECIPE SERVES 3
• Broccoli florets, halved, from 1 head of broccoli
• 3/4 pound capellini (angel hair) pasta
• 2 cloves of garlic, minced
• Pinch of red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
• 1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
• Extra-virgin olive oil
• Salt & freshly ground black pepper
• Lemon wedges, for serving
• Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
1. Gently boil the broccoli florets in lightly salted water until just tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. Drain and set aside.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Add the capellini and cook until al dente. Drain and reserve.
3. In the meantime, in a large sauté pan, heat a generous drizzle of olive oil. Add the broccoli and cook briefly over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and cook, adding more olive oil if necessary, until the garlic is fragrant. Add a sprinkling of salt and transfer broccoli to a bowl.
4. Add a little more olive oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp to the hot pan; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook the shrimp, turning once, until pink and opague. This should take approximately 3-5 minutes, depending on the size of the shrimp.
5. Adjust the heat to low and add the reserved broccoli and drained pasta. Stir to combine and add an addition drizzle of oil. Divide the pasta between 3 bowls and serve. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice overs each serving and pass the Parmigiano Regginao.
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