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food for love a valentine's day feast | 1 2 3
continued from page 1

fettucine with spicy bell pepper cream and shrimp This dish tastes dandy with good-quality dried fettucine, but for an extra special treat, make your own noodles.

10 oz. fettucine
½ lb. shrimp
parmesan, fresh grated

3 red bell peppers
olive oil
3 fat cloves garlic, smashed
¼ cup of pine nuts, toasted
¼ cup of heavy cream
salt, crushed red pepper and ground black pepper to taste

for the sauce
1 Preheat the oven to 500F. Wash the red peppers, slather them in olive oil, and place them on a baking sheet (you can line the sheet with foil for easier clean-up). Roast the peppers for 25 minutes, rotating them halfway through the cooking time. When the skins are blistered and beginning to blacken, remove the peppers from the oven. Place them in a bowl, cover, and let cool. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins, de-rib and de-seed.
2 While the peppers are cooking, heat up a dry skillet on high. Toss in the pine nuts and cook, stirring often, until the nuts begin to release their aroma and turn golden. Pour the nuts into a bowl immediately and set aside. Return the pan to the stove; heat up a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté the garlic for a few minutes, until soft and yummy-smelling. Remove from heat and let it sit until the peppers are cooked and prepped.
3 Toss the peppers, garlic-oil mixture, and pine nuts in a mini food processor or blender; give it a good process until well pureed. Transfer to a small pot, and stir in the cream. Season with salt, crushed red pepper and black pepper to taste.

for the pasta
1 Fill up a big pot with water for the pasta, and boil. Cook the pasta al dente (how long will depend upon your specific pasta -- once the noodles begin to look cooked, start testing by taste. They should be chewy but not hard in the center.)
2 Peel the shrimp, deveining if you like. (It's unlikely to affect the taste; I just feel better knowing my shrimp is well cleaned). Heat up a couple of tablespoons of butter in a pan on medium-high. Sauté the shrimp for a few minutes; as it cooks, the shrimp will change color and become opaque. 
3 When the shrimp is mostly but not completely cooked-through -- pull a shrimp out and test by cutting it in half... the shrimp should be just a little translucent in the center -- pour the red pepper sauce into the pan with the shrimp, lower heat to medium and heat gently while your pasta finishes.
4 Drain the cooked pasta and return it to its pot. Add enough sauce to coat the noodles to your liking. Again, test for seasoning and add more salt, red pepper or black pepper as necessary. Serve the pasta with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

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