I had invited a friend for lunch “alfresco” yesterday. Of course, when Saturday arrived, it was raining buckets and my mood had changed. I was thinking grilled cheese and Campbell’s tomato soup – but that would be way too bourgeoise.
I headed to Kroger and stalked the aisles looking for something interesting to cook. There was a major traffic jam in front of the freezer case, so to amuse myself I opened the door and perused the stock.
Hmmm. Bertolli had a special going on its Mediterranean Style Shrimp and Penne Primavera. The picture on the front looked delicious and best of all it was eight minutes from freezer to dinner plate. It WAS getting late and I could probably pass it off as “from scratch” if I left a few pots on top of the oven and put on the apron with tomato paste stains.
I tossed it in my cart along with a baguette and some Asiago cheese. There is no bad mood that can’t be reversed by a block of Asiago cheese. As I dumped the bag of goodies into the skillet, I was pleasantly surprised by the big fresh-looking chunks of zucchini, red peppers, and black olives.
The shrimp were a little harder to find but they were ample. Next time I may get my fish monger to steam up a pound of shrimp to toss in.
Miraculously as promised, in less than eight minutes the frozen shards turned into a delectable creamy concoction. I tossed in some fresh basil, parsley, garlic and hot sauce just to make it my own.
I was pleased and will consider trying the Bertolli line again – the “Gigantoni in Tomato, Romano and Ricotta Cheese Sauce” or maybe the “Gnocchi in Tomato Mozzarello sauce” sound promising.
Look. I could have made that dish all by myself, spent two hours and $25, and messed up the kitchen. Instead I spent $5 and had nothing but a skillet to wash. No sweat. As Martha Stewart would say..”It’s a good thing.”