What a weekend! It was the kind of weekends you really need after a busy week. We volunteered at the food bank, we went to a beer festival, I had a book club meeting, and we of course spent time in our garden!
Dave and I love spending our time Saturday mornings at the Oregon Food Bank. Thousands of pounds of food are distributed to families through schools – but before that happens, someone has to count out the food for the number of families who need it, and then pack it up for shipping. That’s us! If you’re thinking about volunteering, check it out here. Their website makes it very easy to sign up! Especially as we get further and further from the holidays, that’s when volunteers start to peter off a little. They need your help! And it’s a great activity to do with a group of friends and/or family.
And our second year attending Sarveza’s Farmhouse and Wild Ale Festival was a ton of fun. We like to go early and beat the big crowds, and we got to try all kinds of great sour ales for what I think is a good price. It’s a smaller festival as far as Portland beer fests go, but I meant that in a positive way. Some of the bigger ones get insane! We rode our bikes there, and then headed home afterward to make our first outdoor meal of the year, a feast of grilled cheese, tomato soup and a monster kale and strawberry salad (a power salad for four, if you will).
After all that and more (hosting book club, picking out a backpacking pack at REI, a little food blogging!), I am sitting here at 8:30 Sunday night feeling pretty beat. But before all that, at the very beginning of the weekend, we made dinner together for a quiet Friday night at home.
For me, that is always how I ground myself. It can be the busiest day, with a trip to the gym, a fast-paced day at the studio and an errand on the way home, but if I can get together with Dave and cook something – even something simple – at home at the end of the night, I’m going to feel mentally refreshed and restored.
This baked pasta was the perfect way to wrap up our week. The pasta and clam meat is baked separately from the shrimp (because nobody likes overcooked shrimp!) and I placed them on top afterward. I just loved the crunch of the crispy pasta at the top!
Baked Capellini with Clams and Shrimp
- 1/2 lb cappellini (angel hair) pasta
- 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 cups shrimp stock (make it from your shrimp shells) or water
- 1 lb steamer clams, rinsed and scrubbed
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup half and half
- salt, pepper, olive oil
- Boil 3 quarts of water, and cook the pasta for about half of the recommended time; it should be pliable but not cooked through. Drain, toss with olive oil, and set aside.
- In a large skillet, bring 1 1/2 cups water or stock to a boil, then add the clams and cover. After 5 minutes, the clams should be cooked through. Remove the meat and discard the shells. Keep the liquid.
- Add 1 clove chopped garlic and 1 tsp red pepper flakes, and bring back to a boil. Then add 1/4 cup half and half, 1/2 tsp of salt, the pasta and the clam meat. Toss to combine.
- Pour the whole mixture into a baking dish, and set on the top rack of a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes, until the pasta gets crispy and browned.
- While that's cooking; season the shrimp with salt, pepper, and a little olive oil and toss into a 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
- Top the pasta with the cooked shrimp and serve.