Promises, Promises

After recently mentioning a dish that makes a good supper for company, and promising to post it, I did not. So here it is, my version of Pierre Franey's Crevettes a la Mode Grecque avec Rigatoni, or Shrimp Greek-style with Rigatoni, from the wonderful "60 Minute Gourmet." 

I say "my version," because I have a lot less restraint and am obviously therefore a much less masterful cook than Franey was. I love garlic too much, and am just now beginning to realize that you can indeed use too much of it, as well as too much tomato, etc. 

But I learned that lesson, halfheartedly, by cooking with Marcella Hazan's cookbooks, in which her most super-simple recipes go something like this: "Slice a medium zucchini into 1 inch slices; saute in 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy pan, with one tomato, skinned but otherwise intact. When the tomato has softened but still maintains its spherical integrity, add one clove of sliced garlic;  stir for one minute, discard the tomato and zucchini. Serve the garlic at room temperature." And it is the most delicious thing ever.  

Anyway, this is a dish that requires buying some good feta for. Don't even try to use prepackaged grocery-store stuff; if you're going to spend the money on the shrimp, buy the good feta. 

Shrimp with Too Much Garlic and Lots of Tomato, on Rigatoni
Serves 4

5 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic (or 3)
4 cups chopped tomato
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried crumbled oregano (if you have fresh, use it, but this turns out well using dried)
1 1/2 pounds medium-size shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails intact  
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 lb rigatoni
1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, cook briefly, stirring, until it begins to scent the air like the perfume of the gods. Add tomatoes; cook for 3-5 minutes. Add wine, salt, pepper, basil, oregano. 
  2.  Continue to cook over medium-low heat for ten minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat remaining oil in a large heavy skillet, over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; cook for about 30 seconds on each side, moving them around in the pan, until they just turn red. 
  4. Spoon shrimp and their pan juices into a small baking dish; sprinkle with crumbled feta, spoon tomato mixture on top. Bake for 15 minutes, or until piping hot. 
  5. Cook rigatoni (careful not to overcook); serve in shallow bowls, with shrimp-tomato-feta sauce spooned on top. 

I also mentioned that I recently served this dish with my own Pale Green Salad. This is just a salad that consists of pale green things: one medium large cucumber, peeled, seeded, sliced into half moons; one or two avocados (peeled of course), in cubes; 2-3 large celery stalks, in thick slices cut on the diagonal; butter lettuce; and baby romaine, cut into shreds crosswise. I serve this with a simple mustard vinaigrette and toss together salad and dressing before serving, so that the avocado mixes with the dressing and makes it avocadolicious.  

Simple mustard vinaigrette

In a jar, stir together 8 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, freshly ground black pepper.  Place the lid on the jar, and shake vigorously, until emulsified. 


  1. That sounds divine. I'm too hungry to cook, though.

  2. I've often complained--mostly to myself in mumbled expletives--about Marcella's parsimony with tomatoes and garlic, but you've made me reconsider. Looking forward to digging into yr blog. By the way, I found you through mutual pal Hal E. in Santa Fe.