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Mario's tasty pasta dish is as close as your kitchen

I love watching "The Chew" at noontime on ABC because I love great cooking tips and I'm always looking for new recipes to try.

Watching the "The Chew Crew" prepare something on television gives me a really good idea of whether I want to try a dish or pass.

Two weeks ago, Chef Mario Batali was given a "Grab Bag Challenge" to come up with a meal by using only the items on a grocery bag he was given -- and any kitchen staples on hand.

Batali's grab bag included fresh fennel, a can of diced tomato, a can of artichoke hearts, a can of green olives and a pound of peeled, de-veined shrimp.

What he came up with was Mario's Shrimp with Tomato and Artichoke Pasta.

Right away, he starts angel hair pasta (staple) to boil, then slices an onion (staple) in 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil (staple) until tender, adds the tomatoes, drained artichokes and drained olives with some salt and pepper and red pepper flakes (staples). He cooked the vegetables down about 4 minutes, then added the shrimp and the chopped fennel fronds and cooked until the shrimp was just done.

Then he drained the al dente pasta and added it to the tomato sauce and toss to coat the pasta. Cook about a minute longer, adding a little more olive oil if necessary.

Serve hot with a little Parmesan if you have it on hand.

By the way, I used the frozen shrimp rather than fresh because it cut down on prep time, which I had very little of. Still very tasty and still locally caught.

One more thing. "The Chew" website is awesome, because they provide video clips of how the dishes are made, so even if you can't watch the show weekdays at noon (I know, it's a plug) you can still see how it's made and decide whether you want to give it a go.

Mangi!

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