Wesley Goes Italian
Hello everyone. I had a blast in “The Big Easy”, and so was I. Time to fly
to Rome for a little Italian food. It’s been a while since I’ve gone overseas.
Good Italian food is very hard to cook, if you don’t know what you’re
doing. So it will be difficult for me to describe. I, however, will.
Wesley’s Really Hard Italian Meal
Tomatoes Stuffed with Shrimp
Pasta and Pesto with Potatoes and Green Beans
Maraschino Crème Cake
Tomatoes Stuffed with Shrimp:
6 large, round, ripe firm tomatoes
3/4 pound small raw shrimp in the shell
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Slice the tops off the tomatoes. With a small spoon, possibly a serrated
grapefruit spoon, scoop out all the seeds, and remove some of the dividing walls,
leaving 3 or 4 large sections. Sprinkle with salt; turn the tomatoes upside
down on a platter to let the excess liquid drain out.
Rinse the shrimp in cold water. Fill a pot with 2 quarts of water. Add the
vinegar and 1 tablespoon of salt, and bring to a boil. Drop in the shrimp and
cook for 1 minute after the water returns to a boil. Drain, shell, and devein
the shrimp. Set aside to cool.
Save 6 of the best-looking shrimp for garnish. Chop the rest not too fine
and put in a bowl. Mix with mayonnaise, capers, and mustard. Shake off the excess
liquid from the tomatoes, stuff to the top with the shrimp mixture. Garnish
each tomato with a whole shrimp and 1 or 2 parsley leaves. Serve slightly chilled.
Food Processor method:
2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
2 garlic cloves chopped fine
1/2 cup Parmesan (real) cheese
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
Briefly soak and wash the basil in cold water and gently pat it dry. Put
the basil, olive oil, pine nuts, and chopped garlic along with a big pinch of
salt into the food processor bowl. Process to a creamy consistency. Transfer
this to a bowl and stir in the cheese. Then stir in the butter.
Pasta and Pesto with Potatoes and Green Beans:
3 small new potatoes
1/2 pound young green beans
1 1/2 pounds pasta (spaghetti or fettuccine)
Pesto from the proceeding recipe
Boil the potatoes with their skins on. Peel them when done and slice them
thinly. Snap both ends from the green beans and cook them in boiling salted
water until tender. Don’t overcook them. Drain and set aside. Cook the pasta.
When draining it, hold back 2 tablespoons of the water and add it to the pesto.
Toss the pasta with the pesto, potatoes, and green beans. Serve immediately.
Maraschino Cream Cake:
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour, sifted twice
1 cup maraschino cherry syrup (from the bottle of cherries)
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups heavy cream, whipped
Maraschino cherries for decoration
Combine the eggs, 2/3 cup sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla in a small
mixing bowl. Beat over hot water for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and
continue to whip for 8 minutes on high speed. Fold in the flour. Pour into a
greased and floured 10 inch baking pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
Cool. Slice the cake into 3 thin layers. Sprinkle with Maraschino cherry syrup
flavored with the almond extract. Cover each layer with whipped cream flavored
with the 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Decorate the top of the
cake with whipped cream and whole cherries.