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Aside from reading and drawing comics, the one other thing I really love doing is cooking. I started cooking around High School, and one of the first things I learned to cook was spaghetti. It was easy! Just crack open a spaghetti sauce can, cook the noodles, mix them together and there you go! Spaghetti!

After reading recipe books and watching cooking shows over the years, I learned to cook more elaborate pastas and other tasty things. Favorites of mine include my special \”Giant Taco\”, simple \”White Spaghetti\”, \”Eric\’s Last Stand\”, \”Super Chicken Curry\”, \”Super Beef Caldereta\”, etc. Some of these recipes I even made video demonstrations of.

I don\’t consider myself a great cook. I still have a lot of things to learn. But I think I have reached the point where I understand how cooking works, which allows me to play with recipes and come up with my own. And yesterday I came up with a pasta recipe that I\’m particularly happy with that I just had to write about it.

\”Three\’s Company\”, an American sitcom which aired from 1977-1984, is one of my favorite shows. When I\’m feeling down and need some cheering up, I watch the show repeatedly. It was one of the very first shows I remember almost watching when I was a kid. It was on very late, and my parents had me sleep at 8:00pm. I stayed awake though, and I\’d hear my brother laughing downstairs as he watched it. I was able to catch episodes here and there during reruns years later.

I\’m older now and I earn my own money so naturally, it\’s revenge time. I have all 8 seasons on DVD, and the show is on when I draw and it keeps me entertained and going on even when I get too tired.

Why am I digressing? Well, in the show, the main character Jack Tripper, played by John Ritter, also loves to cook. In the entire 8 seasons, Jack evolves from a cooking student to a chef who owns his own restaurant. And many times during the show, recipes would be mentioned, recipes with French and Italian names that tantalized your taste buds.

Well in one episode, Jack found himself owing some money to a mobster. Jack didn\’t have money to pay for it, but the mobster said he will forgive Jack if he will teach his Italian wife how to cook \”Scampi Ala Calabrese\”. That must be SOME recipe because it\’s enough for a mobster to forgive Jack his $75 dollar debt which in 1979 must have been really big money. What does it taste like, I wondered?

And I\’ve been wondering about that for many many years. A couple of years ago Ilyn asked me what I wanted for my birthday, and since this episode was on, I said well, I\’d be happy if you could cook me \”Scampi Ala Calabrese\”! Well, two years later it looks like it\’s never going to happen. In fairness, it\’s near impossible to find recipes for it anywhere, even online. Even the show doesn\’t say what the ingredients are except at some point it looks like shrimp when they eat it.

I finally broke down the other day after seeing the episode again and said, well shit! I just have to learn how to do this now. This is crazy. I gotta stop wondering about this damned thing and just cook it once and for all.

I didn\’t find a recipe online, but I did find a list of ingredients. It\’s not exactly a recipe since it doesn\’t give quantities and a procedure to cook it. All I know from that list is that it has shrimp, garlic, capers, tomatoes, peppers, fresh herbs, tossed with spaghetti and a bit of red sauce. I had no idea how to cook that properly, but after years of cooking pasta I had an idea of how to cook a version of it.

I tried it, and it worked! Ilyn loved it, and Zara really liked it, and we gave the rest to my parents who also liked it. It\’s the very first pasta I cooked where nothing was left after the first serving.

I can\’t very well call it \”Scampi Ala Calabrese\” because it\’s not. What I did was simply a guess of what it could possibly be. So I\’ll just call it something else.

And it\’s all because of Jack.

Comments

26 Responses to “Scampi ala Gerry”

  1. Ed on September 24th, 2008 12:53 pm

    That’s yummeh, Gerreh.

    Hahaha! Spagetti sauce in can with meat? I have tried making the sauce manually; tomato paste, tomato sauce, ground pork, ketchup, etc. Matrabaho! Mahirap pa tantyahin ang lasa.

    Cooking eats a lot of my time. I wish I could could cook more than just ginisang gulay. I miss sinigang na bangus or baboy with lotsa fat!

    I want to learn how to bake. But I don’t have an oven right now. :D

  2. Gerry Alanguilan on September 24th, 2008 1:27 pm

    Ed, baking is actually much more difficult than just cooking. You have to get the measurements exactly right or else it’s not going to work. Very little room for guessing. Pero siguro pag nagka oven na rin ako, susubukan ko ulit. ;D

  3. Rod Samonte on September 24th, 2008 1:49 pm

    Gerry,
    Kinukuwento mo lang ay natatawa na ako. Definitely one of my favorite sitcoms of that period, along with Taxi. However, I don’t recall that Scampi episode. I have the complete series too, maybe I’ll watch it again. What I do remember is the episode having to do with a mobster ordering a Linguini dish, that somehow, Jack ended up putting too much hot pepper, but the hotter it got the more the mobster liked it.

    Maybe the reason why you can’t find a pasta recipe for Scampi ala Calabrese is that there is none. I think the writers of that sitcom invented that one just to sound Italian. What you cooked and pictured here is a spaghetti dish. Scampi is a shrimp dish with no pasta. Here’s a simple recipe: peel and devein large shrimps, lightly flour, then saute in wine, butter and garlic until the shrimp turns red. Do not overcook. And that’s it, you’ve got Scampi ala Samonte.
    Rod

  4. Gerry Alanguilan on September 24th, 2008 2:20 pm

    Rod, the episode Scampi was mentioned is entitled “The Lone Shark” from Season 4. :)

    I remember that other episode too. I think it’s from Season 6. Hilarious! Season 6 is actually my favorite of them all.

  5. jerome dizon on September 24th, 2008 3:26 pm

    Gerry, sana maka pasyal ka sa restaurant ng mother in law ko sa antipolo (alam ko sobra layo sa san pablo) . Swiss Restaurant sya (25yrs na) ang alam ko kakilala ng mother in law ko si Orvy Jundis..nabanggit nya kasi minsan na Fan mo ako :)
    Vieux Chalet nga pala pangalan nung Restaurant..baka alam ni Ed Tadeo yun, alam ko taga Rizal sya…hehehe mukha na pa akong stalker ni Ed :)

  6. Azrael on September 24th, 2008 4:00 pm

    nagutom ako bigla!!!!

    pupunta ako ng SM now na!!

  7. gilbert monsanto on September 24th, 2008 6:00 pm

    Bakit di na lang kaya restaurant ang ipatayo mo na negosyo o kaya resort? hihi.

    Nakakagutom.

    :)

  8. Jonas Diego on September 24th, 2008 6:42 pm

    Favorite ko pa rin ang Eric’s Last Stand. :D

  9. Robby Villabona on September 24th, 2008 10:09 pm

    Calabrese is a kind of pasta sauce, similar to puttanesca except with no tomatoes (just olive oil-based). So maybe it was shrimp cooked in calabrese pasta sauce.

  10. Rod Samonte on September 25th, 2008 3:26 am

    Jerome,
    Mayroon ka bang Blog with pictures of Antipolo and the restaurant? I’m not from there, but I have a piece of property I’m planning to build on. Really would like to see what Antipolo looks like now.

    Robby,
    Calabrese means it’s from Calabria a region South of Naples in Italy. Maybe Calabrese Pasta Sauce came from there? Still, I think the writers of Three’s Company made that recipe up.
    Rod

  11. mike on September 25th, 2008 2:39 pm

    hey gerry,
    i like to cook too!
    if you’re looking for new ideas and if you haven’t tried it already, here’s a quick and easy italian dish i like to make: chicken parmesan.
    3 main components (pasta, sauce, chicken)
    pasta- whatever you want. linguine, spaghetti or angel hair. cook it like you always do.
    chicken cutlets- dredge it in a beaten egg then in the bread crumb mixture : 3 parts bread crumbs, 1 part grated parmesan (yung itsurang pulbos), salt n pepper. (you can add a little bit of cayenne or paprika or whatever if you want it spicy). you can cook it ahead of time and keep it warm in the oven.
    sauce- its a regular marinara sauce: saute chopped onion and chopped garlic, add ome white wine and let evaporate a little bit. add 1 can of tomato sauce. simmer. add basil and oregano, salt n pepper to taste. sometimes i add sliced caramelized mushrooms and/or finely chopped carrots.
    to serve: put pasta on plate. pour sauce over pasta. place chicken on sauce and sprinkle shredded parmesan over everything (not the powder kind).(shredded mozzarella is good too)

    -mike

    ps- what about posting your calabrese recipe?

  12. jerome dizon on September 25th, 2008 3:10 pm

    Rod eto yung link http://vieuxchaletphilippines.blogspot.com/
    nasa inquirer sila last year sa top 10 restaurant in the Philippines, dami ring google result pag nag search ka. The last time umuwi kami sa Philippines (2005) doon kami sa Antipolo nag stay.. masarap tumira dun di kalayuaan sa syudad pero me feeling pa rin na nasa ibang lugar ka na tahimik. Uwi ulit kami ngayon December. Gerry, dalaw ka naman , ako taya heheheh sama mo si Ilyn.. pwede mag overnight dun :)

  13. Gerry Alanguilan on September 25th, 2008 3:46 pm

    Thanks for the offer Jerome! We just might one of these days.

    You know me Mike… not only will I put up the recipe, there’s also going to be a video! :) Just don’t have the time to edit it at the moment though.

    Rod, I saw a list of ingredients for a “Scampi Ala Calabrese” at some site, but not a procedure of how to do it. You’re right, it means Calabrian style cooking, which is very very spicy. And I like spicy. :D

  14. Rod Samonte on September 25th, 2008 10:42 pm

    linguine, spaghetti or angel hair. cook it like you always do.

    Mike,
    “like you always do” must be Al Dente. That is the only way to cook pasta. Yung bang pag kinain mo ay lumalaban pa rin, hindi soggy at lusaw.
    Yummm, your recipe sounds good. However, I’ve turned vegetarian because of gout. Still I love pastas, all kinds, plus noodles, all kinds. I’m satisfied with pasta with pesto sauce nowadays, no meat. Can’t eat marinara either, that darned tomato paste they put in there are always canned, and triggers my gout. The marinara sauce I can eat must be made from fresh ingredients, and I’m okay. Tastes better too.

    Jerome,
    Wow, ganda ng blog. Thanks. I may have to seriously consider building a home there to retire. And I heard there’s a train that connects straight to the heart of Manila – Recto and Legarda. Where in the world do you live by the way?

    Gerry,
    Sige aatayin ko ang video mo. Napanood ko na rin ang iba mo pang cooking videos.
    Rod

  15. Rod Samonte on September 26th, 2008 12:19 am

    Gerry,
    I can’t find my collection, I wanted to see that episode you’re talking about. It’s here somewhere in my mess. Anyway one of the funniest character in the series is Jack’s sidekick, Larry. Don’t know the name of the actor. I saw him once at Trader Joe’s, and we sort of looked at each other eye-to-eye, but because of the quickness of the incident, I wasn’t able to talk or greet him as he was on his way out. Besides I didn’t know his name, I only knew him as Larry. Remember when Jack and Larry hatch out some kind of devious plan, I forgot why, where Larry was suppose to court this elderly lady. Talking to the old lady in her living room, Larry tells her he loves the perfume she was wearing, and she answers “Ben Gay.” Hahahaha.
    My favorite blonde in the series was not Suzanne Sommers, but Priscilla Barnes who took on the role after two other blondes. Would you believe she was featured in Penthouse, and if you’ve seen Penthouse, you’d know what she was wearing, hehehe. And would you believe I actually met her too… at the San Diego Comics Convention, I think it was 2005, when I first met While Portacio. Anyway, she had a booth selling some kind of publication. I even have a picture with her, which again I can’t find.
    John Ritter, the actor who played Jack, died of a massive heart attack here in the hospital near where I live. His family still has a lawsuit against the hospital claiming he could have been saved.
    Rod

  16. Jose Mari Lee on September 26th, 2008 11:19 am

    Guys:

    Let me ghive you a tip when the pasta is ready.

    while still boiling, take one and hurl it against the refrigerator. If the Past sticks to it, THAT’S READY! This is what I learned from an Italian family I know. I thought it was a joke at first. But when I heard other Italians saying this, it became my own gauge of when the pasta is ready.

    Señor Samonte, WHOLE WHEAT PASTA is now available everywhere and you should be using it instead of the white one. It’s healthier snd won’t make your belly big. He-he. But I bet, since you’re into Vegetarian diet, I’m sure you’re waist line must be the same as mine: 29 inches at age 48.

    Richard Kline played Larry in Three’s Company. He’s a stage actor.

    Going back to Food, I don’t know why most people think that when you’re vegetarian, you must be eating RABBITT FOOD. Okay, it’s partly right. But people forget that vegetarian also includes Grains, tofu, and other delicious dishes, like several kinds of mushrooms in one dish, bamboo shoots and others that can be really tasty if prepared right.

    Gout is one NASTY affliction. I don’t wish to get that one, let alone arthritis. Maybe if you start doing laps in the pool, it might go away?

  17. Gerry Alanguilan on September 26th, 2008 12:06 pm

    Gout is something that can’t be eased with exercise, unfortunately. What’s required is regulation of the diet. Although going vegetarian can help a lot, not all vegetables are good for one who has gout. Beans, nuts and seeds should be avoided at all costs. So no munggo, no patani, no red kidney beans, no sitaw, no peanut butter, not even vegetarian kare kare, seeds in tomato have to be removed… Soy and coffee come from beans as well, unfortunately.

    However, going vegetarian can also prevent you from appreciating dishes that someone with gout can eat… like fish and chicken. Except fishes like mackarels, tulingan and tambakol, which are also high in uric acid.

    Beef is an absolute no.

    My dog Eugene, who formed stones due to uric acid, had a prescribed diet food that’s derived from chicken.

  18. Jose Mari Lee on September 26th, 2008 12:36 pm

    Yeah, that’s one thing unfortunate about GOUT. But I know someone who has gout and by exercising regularly and staying away from uric-acid producing food made life easier for him. What’s fortunate though, is that, there are tons of vegetables and fruit that a person with gout can still eat.

    It is indeed unfortunate if this problem hits you.
    There are days when a gout sufferer can’t even get up from having too much pain.

    In Canada, the COMPASSIONATE CLUB offers some alternative solutions to people suffering from pain. MARIJUANA. Many people are relieved from pain, and this is under the supervision of a doctor. Unfortunately, Señor Samonte can’t avail this sort of thingy.

    This is what Imelda Marcos pushed in the 70s, to create awareness about food and we made several video production for the Philippine Nutrition Center. We also published several fact sheets about heart disease, malnutrition and the like.
    Some mothers didn’t even understand that malnutrition can actually takes place by EATING JUNK FOOD. They get overweight from eating the wrong food. Creating awareness about healthy foods will help a lot, and

  19. Rod Samonte on September 26th, 2008 12:51 pm

    Ginoong JM,
    I must be a smaller man than you, I’m only 5’6″ and my waist right now since I lost 30 lbs mostly from waist is only 25 and I’ll be 67 years old in 12 days. Here’s how my waist looks now, shown in my multiply site: http://rsamonte.multiply.com/photos/album/9/My_Waist_Line#1
    I lost so much weight all my pants are falling. My stomach originally filled the pants I’m wearing. But I’m not complaining actually, hehehe, I like my weight now, back to the 130 lbs. that I was back in college when I was 18.
    Actually, I’ve been doing some swimming at the YMCA. I could not walk or walk straight for nearly 4 months because of the gout, and I was rehabilitating in the jacuzzi, and did some swimming too. I’m happy to say I’m back to normal.

    That is a funny way of gauging if pasta is ready. I do it the old way I guess, by eating one, as it boils, then try another until it’s al dente. Then immediately remove from the stove, drain the hot water then replace it with cold water. Pour the whole thing into a collander to drain, and it’s ready for the sauce.
    Tama, his name is Richard Kline. He just totally disappeared after Three’s Company.

    Gerry,
    Sarap pa naman ng munggo. I think my uric acid is down to normal levels now, cause I had munggo with ampalaya, last night, sarapppp. Otherwise, I try to avoid all beans. Cafe, tuloy pa rin.
    Rod

  20. Jose Mari Lee on September 26th, 2008 2:08 pm

    Rod Samonte:

    LOL! Hanip! Dapat lang , dagdagan mo ng muscle ang tiyan mo. Use an ABS BALL. It will tighten your muscles there. He-he.

    I haven’t told anyone this, but an old girlfriend in Spain when I was a teenager – gave me a Piere Cardin leather belt – one Christmas many, many years ago. I still have that belt now and sometimes, just for reliving that memory, I use it to reminisce my youth. It looks not too bad at all, parang two years old lang. He-he.

    Sige na, umpisahan mo na ang abs ball para mawala yung loose muscles ng tiyan mo. Makita mo’t para kang teenager uli kapag nagbalik ang muscles.

  21. jerome dizon on September 26th, 2008 2:16 pm

    Rod, dito ako sa sydney nakatira. Pero uuwi kami sa December para mag Pasko at Mag bagong taon. Sana nga makadalaw si Gerry sa Antipolo pero alam kong mahirap dahil sa schedule nya.. Yung Mother in law ko kasi taga bili ko ng Elmer at iba pang pinoy published komiks. Maganda sa Antipolo para ka na rin nasa Tagaytay. Yung Swiss Restaurant nila dyan eh almost 26 yrs na.. wala silang advertisement talagang word of mouth lang at mga taong nag Blog about them. Gerry, sorry nag mumukhang ginagamit ko itong site mo to promote my mother in law’s restaurant :)

  22. Robby Villabona on September 26th, 2008 3:20 pm

    Rod, I think there are very few pasta sauces not named after the regions they come from… like Carbonara and the famous Puttanesca :-) Another sauce I recently tried in a restaurant was Amatriciana, which was served in these fatter-than-spaghetti strands with tiny holes in the center.

    JM, ang hirap naman ng method mo — just pick up a strand, blow on it a little to cool it off, and bite into it to see if it’s ready.

    Jerome, I’ve tried Vieux Chalet — maganda yung lugar, and the food is great, though slightly too rich for me. There used to be a German restaurant close to Vieux Chalet (named “German Restaurant”) which also served excellent food. Unfortunately, I only got to eat there once (almost 20 years ago?) then I heard the owner was murdered so the restaurant closed.

  23. Rod Samonte on September 26th, 2008 5:29 pm

    Jerome,
    Taga-Sydney ka pala. Marami akong kaibigan diyan, notably Ding Roces and Edd Aragon. Edd Aragon did a comic strip about Pinoys in Austrelya. Here’s the site: http://edd-aragon.com/jep_orig_cov.html
    He’s also the editorial cartoonist for the Sydney Morning Herald. Here’s his blog showing a cartoon of Sarah Palin published in that newspaper: http://eddaragon.blogspot.com/2008/09/palin-drawn-and-palindromes.html

    JM,
    Been doing sit-ups. Pero ayaw na talagang bumalik yung abs muscles ko na nawala nung lumaki. Hehehe. Pano ba yung ABS BALL?

    Gerry,
    Isa pang tinigil ko at masama sa gout ay BEER. Ohhh, for a bottle of cold San Mig.

  24. jerome dizon on September 26th, 2008 7:06 pm

    Rod,
    Di ko pa na meet si manong Ed, pero madalas sya ikwento sa akin ng kaibigan ko na kakilala sya. Pag na meet ko sya babanggitin kita sa kanya.

  25. Jose Mari Lee on September 27th, 2008 8:28 am

    Señor Samonte:

    Abs ball ay siguradong nakita mo na dahil naglipana iyan. Ginagamit sa work out, yoga, even physical therapy. Get the one made in Germany. The brand is SISSEL. You can do your sit ups with not so much strain on your back. Some people use abs ball in offices. They sit on it while working.
    With this ball, I’m sure you’ll have your stomach muscles back.

    RobbyV:

    Mas madali siguro ang ibato mo ang isang pasta kaysa nguyain mo to try. He-he.

    Actually, nakita ko itong ginagawa ng kakilala kong pamilya. They own a coffee shop on Commercial Drive and a bakery, called CALABRIA (where they’re from). One of the sons was my classmate and his younger brother is an actor. He played the lead in the now cult classic: FLESH GORDON. He’s more into karate than acting so he really never took it seriously. Kapag nagluluto ng pasta ang mga ito, iyon nga, binabato sa fridge yung isa. Kapag dumikit na, ready na. Ang gustung-gusto ko sa bine-bake ng mother nila, ay yung BISCOTTI na TWICE IPINAPASOK SA OVEN! The best Biscotti I’ve ever tasted. Apparently, yung twice na pagpasok sa oven ay may relevance sa texture at lasa nito. Ika nga’y mga natutunan pa nila ito sa kanilang mga nbinuno sa Italia. Nu’ng ikasal yung isang brother niya, invited ako. Umattend ako. Akala mo’y nasa set ka ng THE SOPRANOS. Puwera biro, mga honest-to-goodness na Mafioso ang ilang bisita. For all you know, bala kinokolektahan pa sila ng ting sa kanilang mga restaurants at bakeries. They also make the best PANNETONI in town.

  26. auggie on October 5th, 2008 11:51 pm

    JM,

    How come hindi popular at parang never heared ang PANNETONI Bread dito sa atin ? hindi ba kaya ng mga local bakers natin iyan ?