Girls you can count on

This morning started with an unexpected snow.  By that I mean: it was unexpected to me.  The meteorologists may have known it was coming but I did not!  And, before you could say “school drop off” there were several inches of cold white stuff on the ground.  The roads were slippery, and honestly, it was just not a morning to go out.  So, I didn’t. 

The only problem was that I had invited two girl friends for lunch and to try a recipe…a recipe that I did not have all the ingredients for.  To make matters worse, I got sucked into a project this morning and totally lost track of time.  By the time I surfaced, I had 15 minutes before the girls arrived-and I desperately needed a shower.  Food…shower…food…shower-I flipped a mental coin; the shower won.  

So, as I showered, I searched for Plan B in the kitchen. It had to be something I could make with the material I had in my pantry and fridge; it needed to fill the comfort quotient required on a snowy Thursday; and, it needed to be fast.  I ended up doing my take on Nigella Lawson’s Spaghettini with Shrimp and Chile while I gabbed with two fab girls and solved all the world’s big problems.  It does not get better than that!

Two recipe notes: 1. The Italians are pretty strict about mixing seafood and parmesan…it is a big no-no.  I am not Italian however-so I say, if you want a little good parmesan on your pasta with shrimp-by all means go for it! 2. This recipe calls for Moonblush Tomatoes, which are super easy to make and fabulous to have on hand.  Once you make them, you will see that they are kitchen gold! 

Nigella’s Spaghettini with Shrimp and Chile ala Caroline-serves 4

 12 oz peeled, cleaned shrimp (fresh or frozen-if frozen defrost before cooking)


12 oz thin spaghetti

2 bunches scallions-about 9-thinly sliced

1 t. crushed red pepper flakes

3 T garlic infused oil

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 ½ cup moonblush tomatoes in seasoned oil, recipe to follow

½ cup white wine or vermouth

2 cups arugula, roughly chopped

  1. Drain shrimp.
  2. Boil a large pot of salted water.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat the garlic oil and sauté the scallions, pepper flakes and garlic for a few minutes.  Add the tomatoes in their oil and the shrimp.
  4. Stir regularly until shrimp are pink. Add the wine or vermouth and let it simmer for a moment. 
  5. Add arugula and stir until it is wilted.  Take sauce off heat.
  6. Drain the pasta-reserving ½ cup of cooking water.
  7. Combine the pasta with the shrimp/tomato sauce-mixing well.  If pasta seems dry add some of the reserved cooking water to moisten.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.


Moonblush Tomatoes– Nigella Lawson

 1 lb cherry tomatoes, halved

2 T. olive oil

2 t. sea salt

1 t. dried thyme

¼ t. sugar

1. Preheat oven to 450.

2. Place tomato halves cut side up in a baking dish.  Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, thyme and sugar.

3. Place the dish in the oven and immediately turn the oven off.  Leave the tomatoes in the oven overnight or all day without opening it.

Use immediately or store in fridge until needed.


  1. lara
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 3:29 am | Permalink | Reply

    Can you say YUMMY?!?! Who “whips up” spaghettini (i had to check to make sure i spelled that one correctly) with shrimp in no time flat as her back-up recipe…and make it look easy? I will certainly be trying this one at home.

  2. rose aiello olshan
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’m learning a lot and having fun listening to your stories, Rose

  3. Charlotte
    Posted January 31, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Sounds great! I’ll have to try it

  4. katie
    Posted February 4, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I made the moonblush tomatoes last night and have been “snacking” on them all day….soooo good!

  5. Gretchen Cole
    Posted March 3, 2010 at 11:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Caroline!
    Having fun reading your blog. Coincidentally, I was served a version of your moonblush tomatoes at a schmancy luncheon the other day – the chef used basil and it dried with the tomatoes. I had never had anyting like them and LOVED them. Yum! and now I have your recipe. Even though I’m not the kitchen goddess that you are! Gretchen

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