Category:  Pastas, Rice & Legumes (Beans & Grains)

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Shrimp & Saffron Risotto

In Pastas, Rice & Legumes (Beans & Grains) On April 4, 2023 0 Comments


It doesn’t get any easier than this – make a delicious Shrimp & Saffron Risotto with few ingredients! Don’t forget to pair it with chilled Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc wine. Buon appetito!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
Serves: 4

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup minced shallot
1-1/2 cups Arborio rice, rinsed in cold water & drained
1 cup dry white wine
1-1/2 to 2 quarts (6 to 8 cups) chicken broth
0.0070 oz. (0.100 grams) ground saffron (about 1/8 teaspoon)
16 large or jumbo shrimp, raw, shelled & deveined

1. In an 8-quart sauce pot, heat the oil.

2. When oil is hot (but does not smoke), add the minced shallot;

3. Using a wooden spoon, stir-fry on medium heat until shallot is clear.

4. Stir in the rice; stir until uniform.

5. Add 1 cup white wine to rice mixture; stir on medium-low heat until it has almost dried out.

6. Next, add one ladle of the chicken broth; stir continuously until liquid is almost all absorbed (spoon should leave a path at bottom of pot).

7. Stir in the saffron.

8. Continue adding chicken broth, one ladle at a time, stirring continuously, until rice has almost cooked through.

9. At this point, add the shrimp; stir continuously until rice has cooked through (do not overcook shrimp or it will have a tough texture).

10. Add salt, to taste; serve risotto in individual bowls.

11. Top each bowl with 4 shrimp and 1 sprig of basil or parsley.
Wine Pairing: Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc).
Text & Photograph ©2023 Nancy DeLucia Real

Lemon & Shrimp Spaghetti

In Fish & Shellfish, Pastas, Rice & Legumes (Beans & Grains) On January 9, 2023 0 Comments


Now that we’re past the holidays, it’s time for some Italian comfort food. How about this delicious pasta dish – Lemon & Shrimp Spaghetti? It’ll hit the spot – Buon appetito!

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Makes: 4 servings


1 pound (16 ounces) dried spaghetti or other long, thin pasta
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 pound medium shrimp peeled and deveined
1 large lemon (juice and zest)
⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Bring a 4 to 6-quart pot of water to a boil.
2. When water boils, add spaghetti or other long pasta and 1-1/2 teaspoons salt.
3. Boil the pasta 8 to 10 minutes or until it is “al dente” (crunchy tender).
4. Meanwhile, in a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the oil.
5. When oil is hot but not smoking, add the chopped garlic and quickly stir-fry – do not let garlic blacken.
6. Next, adjust heat to medium-low; add the cream and bring sauce to a simmer.
7. As cream thickens, use a drinking cup with a handle to take 1 cup of pasta water out of pot.
8. Stir 1/2 cup of the  pasta water into cream sauce; bring the sauce to a simmer (this is a light, rolling boil).
9. Add shrimp, lemon juice and zest; cook until shrimp looks pink and is cooked through (about 3-4 minutes).
10. After 3 – 4 minutes, taste one shrimp to check doneness. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
11. Immediately season with salt & black pepper, to taste.
12. Set skillet on very low heat while you drain pasta.
13, Add drained pasta to shrimp sauce and toss with tongs.
14. If pasta looks too dry, add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup pasta water to shrimp sauce. Toss again.
15. Divide lemon shrimp spaghetti among four bowls.
16. Garnish with parsley & serve immediately.
Wine Pairing: Vermentino or Chardonnay (both are whites).
Text & Photograph ©2022 Nancy DeLucia Real

Brown Rice Confetti Salad

In Pastas, Rice & Legumes (Beans & Grains), Salads On May 5, 2020 1 Comment


This salad is delicious as a side or as a buffet dish for any celebration. Make it for Mother’s Day – they’ll love it!

Prep time: 15 minutes (to assemble ingredients)
Makes: 3 to 4 cups

1-1/2 cups cooked, brown rice
4 to 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium carrot, peeled & finely shredded
2/3 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup chopped, fresh chives
5 to 6 fresh mint leaves, slivered
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave nectar
salt & ground black pepper, to taste
Dash cumin

1. Cook rice according to package directions.

2. If rice has excess liquid after cooking, drain and discard the liquid.

3. Transfer the rice to a 4-quart glass or porcelain bowl & stir in the olive oil.

4. Let rice cool to room temperature.

5. When rice is at room temperature, stir in remaining ingredients; toss, taste & adjust seasonings.

6. Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap & serve later in the day.

7. Brown Rice Confetti Salad can be made early in the morning. Any leftovers will keep, refrigerated, up to 3 days.
Text & Photograph ©2020 Nancy DeLucia Real

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

In Pastas, Rice & Legumes (Beans & Grains) On February 28, 2019 0 Comments

In Italian, cacio e pepe mean cheese and black pepper. This term also stands for a type of pasta from Roman cuisine. Spaghetti cacio e pepe is made by Italians all over Italy because it is made quickly and with few ingredients. Personally, I enjoy this dish at home because it tastes better than in most restaurants and it’s a lot cheaper. Try making this yourself – you’ll love it!

Prep time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4

1 pound (16 ounces) spaghetti (you can also use another pasta variety)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/3 to 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (the sharp, imported Locatelli variety, preferred)
1/4 cup minced, fresh flat leaf Italian parsley (garnish)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

1. Bring a 6 to 8-quart pot of water to a boil.

2. Add spaghetti and cook for 10 minutes, or until it is al dente (crunchy-tender).

3. When spaghetti has cooked about 6 minutes, heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet. DO NOT LET IT SMOKE.

4. When oil is hot, stir in the garlic and black pepper and fry until the garlic is barely tender – DO NOT LET IT BROWN.

5. Transfer the skillet with garlic-pepper mixture to a cold burner.

6. Meanwhile, reserve about 3/4 cup boiling liquid from spaghetti.

7. Heat the garlic pepper mixture in skillet and drain the spaghetti.

8. Immediately add drained spaghetti to skillet and toss over high heat.

9. Stir in some of the boiling liquid – it should thicken the spaghetti mixture.

10. Immediately stir in the cheese and toss spaghetti until it is evenly-coated.

11. Serve in individual bowls and garnish with minced parsley. Ask guests to add red pepper flakes, if desired.

Wine Pairing: Chilled Fiano di Avellino (Italian white wine), Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real



Green Linguine with Asparagus & Tomatoes

In Pastas, Rice & Legumes (Beans & Grains) On March 13, 2018 0 Comments

On St. Patrick’s Day, all sorts of recipes turn up for green cookies, green muffins, green candy, green everything except pasta. So how about making a nice dish of green linguine for St. Pat’s Day?

Here’s the recipe:

Prep time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

1 bunch fresh asparagus, bottom tips discarded & stems cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 pound (16 ounces) spinach linguine or fettuccine pasta variety
salt, to taste
10 ounces cherry tomatoes, cut in half
extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese

1. Set the cut asparagus aside in a bowl.

2. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a 4 to 6-quart sauce pot.

3. When water boils, add pasta and 3/4 teaspoon salt to the water.

4. Cook pasta according to package directions.

5. During the last minute of pasta cooking, add the asparagus to the pasta in sauce pot.

6. When pasta is “al dente” (crunchy-tender), drain the cooked pasta in a colander and quickly transfer it to a large glass or porcelain bowl.

7. Add the cherry tomatoes and olive oil. Taste and adjust salt and olive oil levels.

8. Serve pasta in individual bowls; ask guests to add grated cheese to their pasta bowls.

Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc or Cabinet Sauvignon
Text & Photograph ©2018 Nancy DeLucia Real