Italian Dishes at Cucina Gemelli

Tools

By Brittany Cooper

SHRIMP SCAMPI LINGUINE
From the kitchen of Cucina Gemelli


yield: 4 dinner or 8 appetizer portions

1# dried linguine pasta (can substitute fettuccine)
1# peeled, deveined shrimp
1/2 cup white wine
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 T. butter
1/3 cup diced tomato
1 lemon, cut in half
salt and pepper to taste
1 T. chopped Italian parsley

Easy Home Preparation:

Bring a large saucepan of water to a vigorous boil; add approximately 1 T. of salt. Stir in dried pasta; boil, stirring frequently, until pasta is just tender to the tooth (called al dente in Italian). Strain pasta from water; pour pasta onto baking tray and drizzle lightly with olive oil, stirring to separate strands. Refrigerate pasta until ready to serve.

Slice shrimp in half through the back lengthwise. Heat wine in a pot or saute pan large enough to hold all the cooked pasta. Bring wine to a boil, reducing slightly; add garlic, butter, tomato, and salt and pepper to taste. Add shrimp to sauce and cook until shrimp begin to turn pink and are just cooked.

Add cooked pasta to shrimp in sauce, stirring until pasta is heated through. Stir in chopped parsley, and adjust seasoning with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Divide into bowls and serve.


BAKED POLENTA WITH MARINARA & FRESH GOAT CHEESE
From the kitchen of Cucina Gemelli


yield: 4 entree or 8 appetizer portions

Ingredients:

2 cups polenta, or coarse ground cornmeal
8 cups (approx.) water
salt and black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, basil, Italian parsley
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. olive oil
2 cups marinara tomato sauce, store bought, or prepare your own
2-3 oz. chevre (fresh goat cheese)

Preparation:

Put polenta into large saucepan or pot with water; bring to boil, whisking frequently. Reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook polenta gently, whisking occasionally yet frequently so polenta does not stick and burn. Add additional water little by little as necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste while polenta is still cooking, when grains are somewhat tender but not fully done. Cook polenta until cornmeal grains are tender and translucent and overall consistency is like a thick porridge. Stir in fresh chopped herbs and grated cheese and adjust seasoning to taste.

Rub the 1 tsp. olive oil onto the bottom and sides of a baking tray (a regular cookie sheet size, with 1/2" sides works well). Pour the hot polenta onto the oiled baking tray, and spread out level with a rubber spatula. Put polenta tray into refrigerator to cool. Once polenta is fully chilled it will be a firm consistency that can be cut. Cut polenta into 3" squares, then in half again into triangles.

For a family style presentation you will finish the polenta in an oven-safe glass or metal baking pan, or use individual ceramic oven safe dishes. Pour 2/3s of the marinara tomato sauce into the baking dishes; arrange the polenta triangles on top of sauce in a slightly overlapping pattern. Drizzle the remaining sauce over, then sprinkle with the goat cheese. The baked polenta can be prepared in advance up to this point, wrapped and kept refrigerated, or put directly in the oven to finish. Bake the polenta at 350' for approximately 10-15" and heated through. Sprinkle with any additional cheese as desired.


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