29 March 2009

Moonstruck over Dinner & a Movie

Pasta Shells with Shrimp and Garlicky Breadcrumbs

Last night I worked until 8:30 at which time it was The Hour. We had a pizza by candlelight to honour Earth Hour where millions of people from around the world united and switched off their lights for one hour. This event is a global public awareness campaign about the effects of climate change. Sorry Marc and Susan but I was just too tired last night to watch the movie so this gives me an excuse to join in on the fun with both Marc from No Recipes and Susan of Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy for their Dinner & a Movie Event tonight instead of Saturday. Through their event each month they will take us on a delicious journey though some of the most gastronomically inspirational films. Each month there will be a new movie to watch which will hopefully inspire you to cook something amazing!!!!!

For the month of March, they are watching "Moonstruck".

Moonstruck is a delightful and endearing romantic comedy about love and life in New York City and the Italian-American community. Although the film dates back to 1987 (the year my daughter was born), it's charm is timeless. In the movie, Loretta Castorini (Cher)plays an "unlucky in love" Italian widow (her first husband was hit by a bus). She finds romance through the intervention of a big, beautiful and very full moon. With her second wedding just weeks away, she meets and reluctantly falls hopelessly in love with her fiance's estranged younger brother! Her dilemma and her hilariously eccentric family make for an unforgettably enchanting and irresistible movie experience.

Moonstruck is not exactly a film about food... it's mostly about love, family and starting over again. But because Nicolas Cage plays a one-handed baker named Ronnie Cammareri and there are subsequently many scenes of his bakery, I think Moonstruck still counts as a food movie.

This amazing film has almost too many highlights to recount in this blog. Of course, there's the opera scene, and then there is the slap-scene, when Cher's Loretta Castorini famously screams, "snap out of it." And then there is the scene that is really the reason I regard Moonstruck as one of the greatest Food Movies of all time, wherein Ronnie laments, "Bread is life! Bread is my wife! But where's my life? Where's my wife? I've lost my arm!"

Moonstruck won Oscars for Cher, Olympia Dukakis, and screenwriter John Patrick Shanley.

In honour of the movie and the baker I decided to make a Parmesan and a lemon anchovy pasta salad with shrimp, and romaine. It's a second cousin to a shrimp Caesar. Instead of big croutons, sautéed bread crumbs make up the crisp topping.

**Pasta Shells with Shrimp and Garlicky Bread Crumbs**

2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh-ground black pepper
3/4 pound medium pasta shells
1 pound large shrimp, shelled and halved lengthwise
3 tablespoons lemon juice
approximately 1/2 cup prepared Caesar salad dressing
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce (or use curly endive)
samll handful fresh basil, shredded
1/3 cup plus 2 T grated Parmesan

In a medium nonstick frying pan, heat the 2 tablespoons oil over moderate heat. Add the bread crumbs, garlic, and 1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 5 minutes.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta shells until almost done, about 10 minutes. Add the shrimp to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until both the shrimp and the pasta shells are done, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Drain thoroughly.

Add the pasta and shrimp, the romaine, basil and the 1/3 cup Parmesan to the caesar dressing and toss. Serve the salad warm or at room temperature, topped with the garlic bread crumbs and the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan.

Just a few views from The Taste of Kelowna over the weekend..an event I would never miss. This year the net proceeds from the event will go to the Boys and Girls Club, YMCA Strong Kids Campaign and Kids Care.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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  1. This looks so yummy...and I love this movie, even though I haven't watched it in years. I wanted to join in this event, even though I coudln't find the time this month. Hopefully next month :)

  2. great post! thanks
    ill try this..

  3. What a nice meal! Wonderful!



  4. That's another wonderful recipe, Val. Thanks for sharing.

  5. This sounds fantastic, Val! The perfect dish for a warm Spring evening. Thanks so much for coming to the movies with us!

  6. Great movie and a fantastic meal!!!

  7. And I give you an Oscar for this nice pasta salad ! ;o)
    Have a good day

  8. I'm sooo loving the bread crumb idea. quick and easy and super delicious!

  9. Moonstuck is an awesome movie, isn't it? I remember when my mother saw it for the first time, she loved it so much that she took me to see it just so she could see it again.

  10. Oh, I missed Moonstruck! And so many of your lovely posts lately... Anyways, the menu looks fantastic and those flowers show me that Spring reached Canada too ;D.

  11. What beautiful dishes at that event and great one for Dinner and A Movie. Love Moonstruck. Everytime I see it I crave fish and those eggs she makes in toast for breakfast.

  12. You can't go wrong with garlic.

  13. The Taste of Kelowna sounds like it was a fun event. The shrimp dish - hmmmm...garlicky bread crumbs, pasta, shrimp...what more could I want - oh ya, a movie to go with it - perfect - Moonstruck is such a great film

  14. I am now renting the movie. Been too long. What a beautifulpost. And love the pasta dish. I do something similar.

  15. The pasta dish sounds delicious. I remember your last year's post about The Taste of Kelowna and it sounds like a fun event with so many delicious dishes.

  16. Oh I love this movie!What a fun event!
    PS. Come enter my giveaway!

  17. I love Moonstruck . Mainly for Nicholas Cage :)
    Love the dish and the event sounds fun

  18. I LOVE Moonstruck and your pasta dish looks amazing!

  19. I've never watched Moonstruck. Beautiful meal, I like all the pictures.

  20. This sounds like a delicious dinner to go with your movie! I love it.

    I've never seen Moonstruck before. I think I'd like it!

  21. Moonstruck is one of my all-time favourite movies. I don't even know how many times I have seen it.
    Great looking meal, just wonderful!

  22. i haven't seen the movie but love the idea of this pasta dish.


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