My grandfather recently celebrated his 90th birthday. Grandpa has elevated to G.G. status (Great Grandpa) of terrific proportions. He has more great grand children then he does grand children and the day was filled with crawling, playing, running, and of course screaming of happy children at play.
Over his years, my grandfather has seen his fair share of life. He was in the Navy during World War II. He lost his wife at an early age. He has had brothers, sons, grandchildren, all pass away before him. Despite all the unfortunate things in life, he is by far the happiest man I have ever met in my life. Always there with a warm embrace and a smile on his face and a glass of wine in his hand.
Amazing food I think can be attributed to his long and happy life. Through food, our family has always shown love. For lunch that day, for example, my mother made our 1-year-old daughter, Iliana, pastina. She made it the way her mother used to make it for her, and in turn made for me. Now my little one can experience her Great Grandmother through food.
For Grandpa’s birthday dinner, my mother made him his choice. He chose shrimp. With that simple declaration of shrimp, she put together what sounds like an amazing dinner. So I would like to share two recipes with you. One I grew up with and love with all my heart. The second has evolved from the collaboration of life, family and practice. Whether it’s the first solid meal or your 32,850th dinner. Food in this family equals LOVE!
Iliana’s Great Grandmother’s Pastina
- 1 cup of water
- 2 table spoons of pasta
- 1 egg
Not in Grandma’s recipe, I like to add 1 teaspoon of organic food grade coconut oil. According to Organic Facts, “Internal use of coconut oil occurs primarily as cooking oil. Coconut oil helps in improving the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion related problems including irritable bowel syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have anti microbial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc., that cause indigestion. Coconut oil also helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.”
- Bring water to a boil (if using coconut oil add now)
- Once boiling add pastina
- Cook for 4 min on med/high heat.
- Add egg and continue to heat for 1 min or until egg is completely cooked.
- Cool and serve.
Shrimp Scampi over Spaghetti
- 1 pound shrimp
- 1/2 package of spaghetti or fettuccine
- 1/4 cup flat leaf Parsley loose chop
- 1/4 cup cilantro loose chop
- 2 tbs of olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 lemon
- 4 tbs of butter
- 1/4 white wine
- Parmesan cheese
- Seafood stocks
- 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
I like to cut corners on cooking when ever I can so if you have a grocery store that provides cleaned and deveined shrimp, go with that. This recipe is great for a night when you don’t want to put to much time in the kitchen.
- Boil water and cook pasta as per instruction. I like to add flavor whenever I can so I recommend using 1 cup of fish stock and the Old Bay seasoning in your water to cook the spaghetti.
- Set pasta aside in strainer with plate over it to keep warm.
- Prep all your ingredients and pre heat skillet on medium/high heat.
- Add oil and butter to pan.
- Add half garlic and cook for 1 min.
- Add shrimp (should not be frozen)
- Add salt and pepper and cook 1 side for roughly 2 min and flip.
- When finished approx. 2 more min remove from heat.
- Add 4 Tbs. butter to pan and 1 Tbs. Olive Oil goodness of the garlic. Sauté briefly until there is a bit of a sizzle and the garlic becomes yellow.
- Add the juice of 4 medium lemons.
- Add 1/4 cup of white wine and bring the heat up to medium. Reduce by stirring occasionally, make sure not to boil.
- Add parsley and cilantro. Add a pinch of salt and white pepper if you have it. Black pepper works fine, but you will have the black pepper flakes in it.
- Add all ingredients together and serve.
About the author
Marc Anthony Patillo resides in New York City with his wife, Irene, and one year old daughter, Iliana. He has spent 17 years in the food and restaurant industry. He is also a certified yoga instructor and active Yogi. Born in Boston, he has to deal with the conflict of raising a child in NYC while trying to stay a true Red Sox and Patriots fan. His wife, being born in New York, is a Yankees fan and Brings balance to the forces of good and evil in our home.