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Click here to listen Meg Hutchinson–Seeing Stars  While you are reading and cooking, please enjoy one of my favorite songs.

We all need to be comforted every now and then.  A child curls up on her mother’s lap and finds comfort from the “scaries” of the world; a lover clings to their “other’s” hand on life’s roller coaster ride; a friend weeps on another friends shoulder.  Comforting each other is a major part of relationships. 

When there’s a death in my community, the churches and neighbors gather around to comfort the families who are grieving. When my late husband died in 2005, the house was full of “comforters” and while I can’t tell you everyone who was there, I still carry their presence in my soul.  The comfort they gave to me then is still with me today.  When something takes me back in memory to that time, they are waiting there also to offer their comforting words and presence.

Only once in the New Testament  are we told that Jesus speaks and says, “Be of good comfort”, and that’s  in Matthew 9:22

“But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.”
The Greek word used there which is translated “comfort” actually means “to be of good cheer”.  Isn’t it ironic that in times when we are speaking comfort to someone who may be sad, or afraid, that we are actually encouraging them to be of good cheer?  I know when my late husband died, I felt anything but cheerful. I was as far away from cheerful as the sun is from the earth, as east is from west.  I can remember even grieving not only the loss of my husband and friend, and all he was to me and our family, but also grieving that happiness had left me.  I also remember the first time I laughed again.  But, it is what we have hope for, that even in the most dire circumstances, one day the sun will shine again, one day our hearts will leap within us, and we will find that comfort has truly returned to us and we are “of good cheer.”

Right now, Americans need to be comforted, we need to be reminded to “be of good cheer”.  Many are frightened about the future, and we have reason for concern.  However, we should not let fear rule us. Especially those of us who are Believers in the Son of God need to remember that there is one greater within us than the one who is in the world, and this One is the Holy Spirit. We also need to remember that “if God be for us, then who can be against us!”  I encourage you to “take comfort and be of good cheer”.

If you are like me, there are days when you need “comfort food”!  Of course, the best food to take comfort in is not the kind we eat, but the very Word of God!  However, if you need the kind that comforts the body, I’ve got just the thing!  Try my Tortellini and Shrimp Alfredo pasta dish.  I have to confess that I stole this one from my husband –well, I added my own little take on it(tomorrow, March 3rd, is the second anniversary of our first date and Friday we will have been married 19 months!  I’m so thankful that God blessed me with a “new” husband, and he is the best husband in the whole wide world–for me!) He’s also a great chef– and the cause of most of the pounds I’ve gained since we got married!

This recipe is quick (it takes less than 30 minutes, add a salad and some nice Texas toast or Ciabatta bread, with a little melted garlic butter brushed on and you’ve got dinner!) 

Tortellini and Shrimp Alfredo

Ingredients:

1 bag of frozen 20-30 count per pound medium shrimp (make it easy and get the peeled, deveined, cooked shrimp–remember this is supposed to be comfort food!)

1 bag of Barilla’s Tortellini (spinach and cheese or whatever you prefer)

2-3 Tbls Olive Oil

2-3 cloves garlic or 1/2- 1 Tsp from a jar of fresh minced garlic

Fresh ground black pepper and fresh grated sea salt to taste

5-6 leaves of fresh basil (more or less to taste)

1 Jar of Tomato Alfredo sauce  (if you don’t like tomatoes then use just the plain Alfredo sauce)

Couple of ounces of fresh Parmesan cheese (optional)

a handful of fresh baby spinach  (washed, drained, dried) or 1/4 cup of thawed frozen spinach, drained and squeezed dry with paper towels

Putting it all together—

  • Peel and devein your shrimp (or do like I do and buy the ones already prepared. I do remove the shell that’s left on the tails, but I try to keep the “tail meat” intact!) I use one bag of 20-30 ct. size shrimp– or whatever the grocer has on sale for that week. If the shimp are frozen I dump them into a pot of lightly salted boiling water for about 2 minutes. Drain and hold.
  • Prepare package of Barilla Tortellini (you can also use the larger Tortelloni if you wish)– I like to get in some extra nutrients so I use the spinach and cheese stuffed)  or you can use the type of Tortellini that you find in the refrigerated section of your grocers.  Cook according to directions. Drain and hold.
  • On medium heat, In a  deep saucepan or the bottom of a large dutch oven, (pre-heat your pan) then pour about 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Saute 2 cloves of minced garlic. (I cheat and use the garlic that comes in a jar– I use about 1/2 teaspoon or more, I like garlic!)
  • Add in some fresh chopped basil, about a 1/4 cup. Saute for about one or two minutes.  You can use more or less to your own taste. I like basil and grow it from spring til late fall in planter boxes on our deck railings and in my herb garden both! 
  • Add in spinach. If you are using fresh spinach heat until nicely wilted.
  • Pour in one jar of Tomato Alfredo sauce  and stir——-(or make your own from heavy cream and Parmesan cheese–it only takes a few minutes and is so much tastier, add a little tomatosauce and you have a nice homemade Tomato Alfredo sauce)
  • I like to grate in some fresh Parmesan (you can never have to much Parmesan!), about a 1/4 cup or to taste! This is optional.
  • Crank in some fresh ground black pepper to taste.
  • Grind in some fresh  sea salt to taste.
  • Simmer this over medium low heat until it is nice and hot.
  • Next add your prepared shrimp and your prepared Tortellini pasta.  
  • Simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes and it’s ready to eat. 

Ladel up a nice serving into a bowl or pretty dish.  Top with a bit of the freshly grated Parmesan cheese, give a little crank of black pepper, and toss on a leaf of fresh basil for garnish and you are ready to serve.

  Add your salad and your bread and dinner is served.  It actually took longer to type the recipe in than it does to prepare the dish! How comforting is that!  Be of Good Cheer my friends, be of good cheer!

The grandkids always ask for this dish when they come over to stay the night at their Nana’s and Poppy’s house. They love to dip their bread in the sauce, and our little Hannah Grace loves to eat the “shTrimp” most of all!  It’s deliciously yummy and capriciously easy!

 
 
 
 
 

 

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