Sunday, July 1, 2012

Summer in San Francisco

Summer in San Francisco is the worst, and if you don't believe me, here is a series of pictures I took a couple of weeks ago as we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. Remember, this was mid-June.

No, that's not rain, it's fog. See how people have their lights on?

As you're driving across the bridge, you just have faith that it's all intact because you really can't see more than a few feet ahead of you. Someday, it might not be there, and I guess then your number's up. 

I don't mind the fog, for the most part--like the hills, it's an oddity of San Francisco that I tend to like more than dislike. It makes the city unique. When I go places that are flat and warm, I enjoy them, but I also miss my city a little.

But sometimes we have to get out, see the sun, get some vitamin D. On this particular day we headed up to Marin where instead of being smothered by fog we got bathed in sunshine. Marin is beautiful, dry, sunny, and blue skies.

We had sandwiches and Arnold Palmers outside Cowgirl Creamery and even Sophie enjoyed some nibbles or two.

On the way home, we were all in a good mood.

In the evening, rejuvenated but also a little drained from time in the sun, I threw together a pasta I've been making a lot recently, because it's both delicious and quick. I know I didn't invent this, but I still think of it as one my "my" pastas. If you like shrimp, it'll be up your alley. If you don't, well, you're out of luck.

Spaghetti with shrimp, arugula, and tomatoes

1 lb.spaghetti
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
olive oil
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
pinch of red pepper flakes
a few handfuls of arugula
grated parmesan, for serving

Bring water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat a few tablespoons of oil in a big frying pan over medium-high. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes, turning once, until just done. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Lower the heat slightly. Add the garlic and cook briefly until it's fragrant. Add tomatoes, red pepper, salt and black pepper to taste. Scrape the bottom of the pan to pick up any shrimp bits. Bring to a simmer, then turn down to medium-low. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until slightly reduced.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti. When it's done, set aside a little of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce, along with the shrimp and as much arugula as you like. I like a lot. Toss, adding some of the pasta water if you want to get the consistency you're looking for. Check for seasoning, then serve in shallow bowls with grated parmesan.


  1. I love recipes like this with just a few, well-chosen ingredients, artfully combined. Beautiful after a nice day out in the sunshine.

    I can recommend a trip to Davis, too, if you really like warm and sunny. Good restaurants, cute shops, and a college feel to the place. Great for when the fog gets us down, and just an hour's drive from us.

  2. Zoom: Ah yes, Davis. We owe a visit to some friends in Sac, maybe we can do both.

    Sue: Try it!

  3. I love summers in the city, love the trip up north to the sun... Sophie is so adorable, as are all you happy people! And that pasta sounds perfect

  4. you mean sophie doesn't get to ride shotgun? :)
    i'm liking your ultra fresh dish. :)

  5. foodhoe: Thank you,sweet foodhoe! Hope you are having a nice summer.

    grace: Good point--she should!

  6. After two weeks of 90 degree weather in Spain, I'm glad to return to some cool summer weather! ;-) I bet your pasta dish would taste even lighter with angel hair!

  7. Hungry Dog, I will gladly give you a week in Tallahassee Florida for a week in San Francisco any day! I can give you hot steamy air 24/7....Gulf beaches with sand like sugar and water like a jacuzzi (smile). Sophie comes too.

    Looks like a great day of sunshine, and nice simple meal to follow.


  8. Ben: angel hair, brilliant!

    Velva: Done! I could take hot and steamy now and then...

  9. I was only in your city for a brief few days, but I loved it. But I'll be honest,the fog weirded me out a bit.....