Orecchiette Pasta with Shrimp and Broccoli (one pot- 15 minutes)

“Ready for the Next Atomic Bomb”

How many dinners could you make if, God forbid, you couldn’t make it to the store for days?  What’s in your pantry now?  Go look, really.  Is a jar of pickles really going to help you at 6PM when even the thought of dinner hasn’t entered your mind yet?  There are weeks I am at the food store 3 times and others where I am lucky if I go once.  Of course I only go 3 times because I forget what I went to the store to buy the first 2 times.  However, at any given time, I am prepared to cook for the troops in an emergency should my country call upon me.  I try to keep the following meats on hand at all times:

  • Bag of frozen cooked shrimp
  • Thin Pork Chops and Chicken Cutlets (lay them flat in Ziplock freezer bags to defrost only what you need)
  • 1 1/3 of ground turkey or beef
  • Ham Steak
  • Pork Tenderloin (usually comes in pack of 2 – separate before freezing in case you only need one)

If you keep a couple of bags of frozen veggies (e.g., corn, string beans, peas) and a box of pasta and rice, you are literally ready for battle any night.  Just watch out for the spit balls!

Pasta with Shrimp and Broccoli:  You can use any pasta but I happened to have orecchiette.  This pasta looks like little hats made for your fingers.  This is ironic because that’s exactly how they are made.  A little pasta dough is wrapped around the tip of a finger to make the shape just right.

  • Cook broccoli florets in a pot of salted water.  Remove broccoli with strainer and set aside in your serving bowl. 
  • Cook the pasta in the same boiling water.  Drain pasta and set aside. 
  • Heat EV olive oil in the pot with a little garlic (if you like) and cook the shrimp.
  • Add some parmesan cheese, drop of lemon juice (fresh, bottled or zest) and stir.  Add a drop of water or chicken broth if too thick.
  • Pour broccoli and pasta back into the pot and stir everything together.  Add salt/pepper and cheese to taste.

Salad:  Sometimes you just don’t have fresh lettuce so toss some raw baby carrots in a bowl and let the kids dip them in some dressing.

How Can the Kids Help?

  • Fill the pasta pot with water (teach how much) and add salt
  • Pour pasta in pot and set timer (they can tell you when the timer goes off – they think you don’t hear the beeping)
  • Sprinkle dinner with parmesan cheese
  • Put carrots in little bowl and pick dipping sauce
  • Count by 1’s to get the fish to his bowl:  http://www.printactivities.com/Mazes/Math-Mazes/Fish-CountingBy1s.shtml

Did You Know?

  • McDonalds distributes more toys each year than Toys R Us
  • 40% of American meals are eaten outside the home
  • Each day 1 in 4 Americans visits a fast food restaurant
  • French fries are the most eaten vegetable in America
  • Watch “How to make orechiette” on You Tube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qk34jkzVZYs
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