Sure, I love my crostini and bruschetta, Parmesan and certain types of pizza, but considering that Italian food tends to be full and rich, I've found it difficult to understand why I don't favor it.
Mostly, my complaint is with the American version of Italian food -- heavy, tomato based sauce with lots and lots of cheese, drowning out what amazing flavors reside beneath the hull. And, really, the domesticated version here does not often capture the full regional-based range of Italian cuisine native to the country.
Perhaps it's been my poor experience with Italian cuisine: Dry gnocchi, overpowered pesto and grainy polenta for example.
But I bless the day Nancy began allowing me to adopt her subscriptions of Saveur. The May 2010 edition was devoted to "comfort food," which included a series of pages focused exclusively on Italian cuisine.
Well, after taking about 20 minutes to decide what to cook, I settled on shrimp pasta. I used fettuccine, which I boiled with a half-block of shrimp-flavored bouillon.
Meanwhile, I marinated the shelled and cleaned shrimp with lemon juice, Old Bay seasoning and a teaspoon of truffle oil.
All the while, I was working on my caramelization, this time using sweet onions.
Then, I swiftly cooked the shrimp with some ginger shavings in one skillet while I sauteed the pasta in another skillet with about two tablespoons of butter and another two tablespoons of chives. When the shrimp and onions (which were splendid this time!!!) were ready, I added it to the pasta.
For the finish, I added some freshly cut basil and toasted french bread.
Fantastic! I will certainly be making this dish again.