Carino's Italian Restaurant was one of my husband's favorites when we lived in Bozeman. We both fell in love with the lively Italian atmosphere, but it was honestly the skilletini that kept us coming back time after time. My husband also loved the free ice cream sundaes on his birthday, so we threw many of his birthday gatherings there for that specific reason. After 6 years in Bozeman together, naturally we chose Carino's as the place to celebrate with our family and friends for our rehearsal dinner. I remember everything perfectly. I walked into the back room which was flooded with natural sunlight. The floor was textured and there were two long wooden tables with crisp red napkins. Surrounding them, were all of my favorite people.....family members, old friends and new friends. I was overwhelmed with gratitude! I remember thinking to myself, "How did we get so lucky?" Spirits were high and smiles all around. Well....until my mother-in-law directed our attention toward the television. She had put together a slide show of photos from our childhood and the memories captured throughout our relationship. Not to mention a few of our favorite songs. She was crying before she got back to her seat and the rest of us joined her shortly after. It is a gift we will cherish forever.
|The big day|
Ahh the memories....now back to the food. As much as I love the skilletini, I haven't quite found a dish that matches their flavor. If anyone knows of a great spicy marinara dish tossed with peppers and onions, please send the recipe my way. However, today I was inspired by another dish. They serve an angel hair pasta tossed with Roma tomatoes, garlic, capers, basil, black olives and parmesan cheese. I used all of these ingredients and added a little white wine and lemon to take place of some of the oil. I'm not the best at measuring while I cook, but I think I got it pretty close. If you can't tell, I'm a big fan of tasting as you go! :)
Angel Hair Pasta w/ Artichokes
- 8 oz angel hair pasta, cooked
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/4 c white wine (plus a few splashes before serving, if needed)
- Lemon zest of half a lemon + juice
- 1 can of artichoke hearts, quartered
- 1/2 c Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 c black olives, sliced
- 1 Tbsp capers, rinsed
- 1/4 c fresh basil, chopped
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Cook the pasta according to package and drain. Run under cool water to prevent further cooking and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and shallot, stirring constantly, cook for 1 minute. Add the wine, lemon zest, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, black olives and capers. Cook a few minutes, add the cooked pasta and heat through.
- Before serving, add a splash of wine and a squeeze of lemon juice. Top with fresh basil, cracked pepper and freshly grated parmesan.
Seared Sea Scallops:
- 12 oz scallops (3-4 scallops per person)
- 1/4-1/2 c white wine (Don't forget to pour yourself a glass)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for searing
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
- Fresh baby spinach leaves
- In a shallow dish, mix together the white wine, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Add the scallop and marinate in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before cooking.
- Heat some olive oil in a pan over med-high heat. Gently pat the scallops dry with a paper towel (to prevent splatter), sear 1-3 minutes on each side.
- Remove from pan. Throw in a few handfuls of fresh spinach. Toss for a 3-5 seconds (just enough to wilt) before dishing on a plate. Top the greens with seared scallops and voila! Serve aside angel hair pasta and a slice of french bread.