Good morning. Yesterday we got some good news from school: Cuomo cleared the way for “limited graduations” to proceed after June 26, so there will be an in-person ceremony for my daughter’s senior class. We are thrilled. In other news, I spent yesterday rewriting the intro to my book (again); I started an assignment that I’ve been putting off for weeks; And my daughter finished the first season of Way Down in the Hole, the podcast that breaks down every single episode of The Wire. (She’s obsessed.) Here’s today’s PPP…
Project: Spaghetti with Shrimp, Corn, Basil
When Cuomo clears the way to invite people to our homes again, this is the first thing I’m cooking up for them. Such a nice summery one-pot meal — I made it last week, even though corn and tomatoes are not close to peak season right now. Imagine how good it will be at the end of August?
1 16-ounce box thin spaghetti
3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, halved
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
dash red pepper flakes
1 small yellow onion, chopped
kernels from 4 ears of medium corn (about 4 cups)
1 medium ripe tomato
8-10 basil leaves, torn (or chiffonaded if you’re into that)
Prepare pasta in a large pasta pot, according to package directions. Before straining, reserve about a half cup of pasta water. Toss one tablespoon of butter into the cooked spaghetti while it’s in the strainer, to prevent it from sticking.
If you want to clean one less pot, wait for the pasta to finish and use that pot. If you want to make the whole thing go faster, set a large Dutch Oven type pot over medium heat while the pasta cooks and add remaining butter, olive oil, and garlic. Add the shrimp, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and cook about three minutes until the shrimp is cooked through. Using a slotted spoon remove shrimp to a bowl. To the same pot, add the onions and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add corn and tomatoes and cook on medium-low heat until vegetables release their juices and everything looks saucy. If you have to add a little of the pasta water to loosen it up, by all means do so.
Add spaghetti and shrimp to the corn-tomato sauce, tossing so the sauce and vegetables are distributed evenly. Serve and top each portion with basil. (Or, serve in a large bowl, like above, topped with basil.)
One of the hazards of ordering groceries from former restaurant supplier Baldor is winding up with restaurant-size quantities of certain ingredients. That’s how we found ourselves with a dozen limes about to go shriveled and dry. Well, when life gives you limes….
Makes 1 glass
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (from about 4 small limes)
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons simple syrup* (or to taste)
Combine lime juice and water in a glass and stir. Add simple syrup a tablespoon at a time until it tastes right to you. (For me that was two tablespoons.) Add ice and garnish with a lime wedge or wheel.
*Simple syrup: It’s that time of year (i.e., iced coffee time of year) when you’ll never regret having a jar of simple syrup in the fridge. To make: In a small pot, simmer one part sugar to one part water over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Remove pot from heat and let cool. Store in a jar.
Purpose: What Are You Reading?
I just finished a book I was assigned to review — It was great I can’t wait to share more — but I wanted to find out from you: What are you reading? What have you lost yourself in? What’s made you grow? Learn? Empathize? Escape? Connect? Act?
Donate, if you can.
The goal of the Project, Pantry, Purpose series to keep us sane, distracted, connected, and USEFUL. It began in March 2020. Please continue to comment below with suggestions for recipes, projects (for kids and adults), good deeds, donation ideas, stories, movies, games, puzzles. Or just tell me how you’re doing, what your daily routine is, and especially how DALS can help you or people in your community. You can also email me directly at email@example.com.