In the model of a less-evil Milo Minderbinder, I thought I’d show people what kind of food one can whip up with limited resources in a war zone. Having a full range and stove helps, but the crucial ingredient is, of course, an Italian PX.
Starting simple — bieta (or bietola in Veneto) sautéed in a pan with garlic. Both frozen garlic and bietola from the Italian PX.
bietola saltata in padella
gamberi in padella con pomodori
Shrimp fusilli, basically a version of the Italian classic gamberi in padella con pomodoro fresco.
Not a huge success. Tomatoes sourced from the dining facility. You can clearly see that the dry tomatoes didn’t melt and form a nice sauce, as I hoped they would. I even pierced then with a fork and squashed them in the pan.
Frozen shrimp, caught in Thailand, sourced from the Italian PX.
I didn’t have long pasta which would have been more appropriate.
pasta di soia con bietole ripassate
A kind soul leaving gave me organic edamame spaghetti. I’m trying to cut carbs so I thought I’d give it a shot.
Frozen bietola boiled for a few minutes with some sea salt brought from home.
Tossed pasta in water.
Made a soffritto on the side with frozen garlic, some paprika and herbs de Provence. Threw in a can of Airone tuna.
Drained it well. Tossed in the bietola. Stirred well. Added fresh lemon juice, jarred olives, and jarred sun dried tomatoes.
It came out well. Basically an adapted version of this.
Parmigiana di melanzane
A classic on both sides of the pond. I got frozen eggplants at the Italian PX. Had the EVOO and frozen garlic. Got a burrata from the cafeteria and some of their cooked tomato sauce. Had some good Victoria passata (again, Italian PX) at home. Another kind soul had gifted me some oregano.
Due primi di pesce
For the first one (left) I brought home some scallops from the cafeteria’s weekly “surf and turf night” and had some lemon slices (usually for iced tea) at home. I also had some leftover skewered veggies from an event the previous night. I made a soffritto, this time with fresh garlic, added the vegetables, tossed in the scallops, added the al dente pasta and squeezed the lemon when it was done. I wasn’t really hungry so I ended up eating just the scallops and vegetables and leaving the pasta.
For this second dish (right) I recycled the lunch pasta. Made another soffritto with garlic and an local red pepper, tossed in Italian passata, some of the gifted basil, mixed in the spaghetti, added jarred green olives and capers (again, Italian PX) and a can of tuna someone left on my doorstep since they left post. Same nice person left me truffle oil (unopened!) and I topped with that. This dish was the clear winner.