" Rocky III" TKO Antipasto

Get all the energy you need to train for another comeback victory!

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped carrots
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 lb uncooked, unshelled shrimp
  • 3 tbl fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbl flat leaf parsley
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-3 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 5-10 anchovies, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped olives
  • salt and red pepper flakes to taste
  • plenty of vegetables for dipping: asparagus, zucchini, bell pepper, broccolli, spinach leaves, etc.
  • 8 small ripe tomatoes
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 2 tbl chopped basil
  • pecorino Romano cheese, for grating
  • reggianno Parmesan
  • your favorite cured meats
  • marinated olives and pepperoncini
  • smelling salts, to taste


1. In a medium saucepan, combine the celery, carrot, bay leaf, salt and white wine with 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes.

2. Add the shrimp and boil for 2 to 3 minutes, depending on the size of the shrimp. Drain the shrimp, and when cool to handle, remove the shells and devein only if necessary.

3. In a medium sized bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley and shrimp. Season to taste with fresh ground black pepper and salt.

4. Set a small, heavy saucepan over low heat. Add the olive oil and garlic and cook without browning the garlic for no more than a minute. Add the anchovies and continue cooking another minute, all the while mashing the anchovies with a wooden spoon. Add the olives, pepper flakes and salt and serve warm with the vegetables..

5. Set a well seasoned cast iron or nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise, brush with olive oil and arrange cut-side down on the pan.

6. Sear the tomatoes for about 5 minutes, until brown and fragrant. Arrange on a platter, drizzle with olive oil and season with chopped basil and grated Romano cheese.

7. Arrange all the antipasti around the table and prepare to get knocked out. Pity the fool who shows up late for dinner.

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