Monday, January 28, 2013

Fast and French (I mean, er, Italian)

Mondays for me are always a challenge, in every sense of the word. It's the only day out of the week that I travel to my second job- teaching three dance classes, back to back. As much as I enjoy passing the "dance torch" to a younger generation, I never realized how exhausting the job would be until I began this past August. I should warn anyone that is pondering a profession in dance instruction that you will also become a disciplinarian, mediator, seamstress, event planner, and occasionally a therapist.
Once I toss my dance bag and notebooks into the car, I'm usually starving, and the last thing I want to do when I get home is stand over the hot stove for an hour (or two.)  Despite how much I love to cook; all I'm thinking about is a shower, some fuzzy socks, and curling up with my husband on the sofa. This is also why Monday nights quickly became "Chick-fil-a night" as the dance classes crept into September.
This year, I vow to triumph over fast food- there are so many meals out there that are quick, easy, and much healthier than the greasy paper bag.
After hours of dancing I desperately crave carbs, which is why I pulled out my shrimp scampi recipe- one of my favorite recipes to make when you're in a hurry. No, it's not French- scampi comes from the name of an Italian shrimp, and after WWII became known as the pasta dish, when Italian food went "mainstream" in the US. Scampi is very quick to make (if you only have 15-20 minutes, you can make this!) The recipe below contains very little fat, and yet is extremely satisfying. Bon appetit, or, I should say buon appetito! ;)

Shrimp Scampi
Serves 2

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large shallot or 1/2 large onion (whatever you have on hand), finely chopped
1 lemon
1/3 pound cooked baby/salad shrimp
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup grape tomatoes
1/3 pound angel hair pasta, cooked al dente
Salt and pepper
Fresh chives

Start heating up your pasta water. Begin the scampi sauce after you drop the pasta into the water to cook. For the scampi sauce: heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the extra-virgin olive oil. After oil is hot, add the shallots or onion and cook about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the shrimp and heat them through, about another 2-3 minutes. Add white wine and tomatoes, and toss another minute. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss to coat evenly with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with fresh chives. Serve with a lemon wedge.

Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray

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