Happy New Year Shrimp Pasta a la John de St. Jorre

Happy New Year!  New Year's is typically the day when we tend to stop and think about what progress we made over the last year, and how we might improve in the new one.  I like to make this dish on New Year's Day to remind myself of things not to miss about past years.  This dish was a specialty of an erstwhile friend named John de St. Jorre, an ex-pat Brit who wound up, after many years of globe-trotting, settling in Newport, Rhode Island. He rented a large furnished house on the sea from September to May every year for several years and threw a New Year's Eve bash for 1999.  We used to see a lot of John.  He made himself quite at home in our home, came and went as he pleased several days out of the month when his business as a journalist brought him to New York.  He was a good guest - wore a bathrobe in the mornings, and kept the bathroom neat, and was never flatulent - so we gave him a set of keys to our apartment.  His family stayed here quite often as well, especially if we were out of town, and made free use of our abode.  John was an affable fellow who always had a good story to tell.  I considered him a good friend, actually.  That said, it goes without saying really that I was rather hurt when he wrote those awful things about me in my ex-husband's divorce papers.  Apparently, he considered ME quite the cold fish and all those times we socialized - over a span of 15 years or so - he was only putting on a good face (or stiff upper lip) at having to put up with me and all my darned hospitality.....I remember the weekend my ex made a special secret trip up to Newport to work on John's affidavit for the divorce papers.  Together, they came up with a doozy - I envision them enjoying a grand old boys weekend together, smoking John's stash of Trojan cigarettes, and getting really creative with their collaborative writing effort.  In keeping with tradition, my ex goes up to stay every New Year's, now with his new girlfriend - whom I hope is more to John de St. Jorre's liking.  In fact, I am sure she is.   In the spirit of the new year 2011, here's my version of John's shrimp and pasta dish - served hot and spicy!


1 lb cleaned shrimp
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 thinly sliced onion
2 tblsp olive oil
1 can whole tomatoes
1 clove sliced garlic
handful olives, sliced (no pits)
1/4 cup corn
1 clove sliced garlic
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
1 tsp smoked Spanish Paprika
1 clove sliced garlic
fresh grated black pepper
1 tblspn cream cheese (optional!)
1 box Capellini pasta 

Put your water on to boil for the pasta.

Slice the mushrooms, and onion and saute until golden in olive oil.  Add the sliced garlic and lightly brown.
 Separate the canned tomatoes from the juice (reserve the tomato juice, about 1 cup) and chop - add to the onion mixture, cook for 3 - 4 minutes.

Season with the smoked Spanish Paprika, hot chili flakes, and add the olives.
Add the reserved tomato juice and the chicken boullion and heat until simmering
Add corn kernels and olives
  Add the brocolli and cover - steam for 2 - 3 minutes

Now cook the capellini pasta in the pot of boiling water (it only takes a few minutes)

Toss in the shrimp into your mix and cover - steam and simmer for 2 or 3 minutes.
Taste and season to your liking... 
Serve piping hot!  You can add some freshly grated Parmesan although I think technically you're not supposed to serve seafood pasta with Parmesan - but do the old rules apply anymore?  Certainly not the rules of etiquette or manners, anyway.

“Etiquette means behaving yourself a little better than is absolutely essential.”

William Cuppy 


If you must be a house guest, at least wear something nice to breakfast...

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