The recipe this week is super easy for those nights when you worked late and you need to get something on the table without too much fuss.  If you have a few items on hand the following fun family meal can be put together in no time.  

1 – 9 0z Package of Trader Joe’s Lobster Ravioli (or such brand as is in your hood) 

8 oz Trader Joe’s frozen cooked Langosta (spiny lobster)  

For sauce you will need:

1 – 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

1 small onion finely chopped

2 cloves garlic diced

1/2 cup white wine

1 1/4 tsp dried basil

1 tsp olive oil

1/4 cup cream (could use milk to save a little fat)

1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives

Salt & Pepper to taste

In sauce pot saute’ the chopped onion in the olive oil, add the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a light boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  You want the sauce to reduce some so it is not watery when placed over the ravioli.

Thaw the Langosta in a cool water.   Drain and set aside. 

Bring large pot of water to boil, and when sauce has reduced to thicker consistency, place the ravioli into the lightly boiling  pot of water and cook for 5 minutes. At the same time place the Langosta in the sauce pan to heat them.

Plate equal potions of ravioli and spoon the sauce with Langosta over the ravioli. Top with some parmesean cheese.  And that’s it, enjoy your Lobster Ravioli with Langosta Sauce easy pasta great family meal. 


I can remember breathlessly watching TV on February 20, 1962 as John Glenn, aboard the Mercury capsule Friendship 7, on top of an Atlas Rocket waited to blast off and become the first American to orbit the Earth. 

The Mercury capsule looked like a bell.  It held one astronaut, who assuming he survived the launch, and orbit, would re-enter the earth’s atmosphere with his back to a heat shield which on the exterior would burn red hot. Then, assuming the heat shield held, and the parachutes opened, the Mercury capsule would splash land in the Pacific Ocean. The exact location of the splash landing depended on many variables. So astronauts could expect to spend a fair amount of time bobbing in the ocean while the US Navy searched for and retrieved the capsule. 

(for more information go to  http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mercury/).     

Those were such exciting times. Where would all this end? President Kennedy had earlier announced that he proposed a program which would culminate with astronauts landing on the Moon.   

The next advancement came with the Gemini Program.  The Gemini capsule was a two man bell shaped capsule designed for extended space flights, and to practice space walks and docking while in orbit. The final Gemini flight was on November 15, 1966. (for more information go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Gemini )

The Apollo Space Program came next. It was being developed at the same time as the Gemini Program, so the first manned Apollo flight was scheduled for 1967. Only 1 year after the final Gemini flight!

The Apollo capsule was designed to carry three astronauts, and  a Lunar Module to the Moon.  Upon orbiting the Moon the Lunar Module would detach from the command ship, land on the Moon, blast off from the Moon, and return to re-dock with the command ship for the journey home.  

In 1967 the Apollo 1 flight ended before it started when during the countdown a fire erupted inside the capsule killing all three astronauts. Even with such a tragic start, the program continued and resulted in the first human landing on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

In the insignificant time span of 7 years, mankind went from orbiting the Earth to travelling to and landing on the Moon.

The last Apollo mission to the Moon left Earth on December 7, 1972 and returned to Earth splashing into the Pacific Ocean on December 19, 1972.   

The next advancement in space vehicles was the development of a reusable spacecraft which would be launched with the aid of multiple rockets, and return to earth as a huge, heavy, glider.  After re-entry the shuttle could be flown to various landing sites depending upon weather conditions.

Nine years after the last Apollo flight, the first manned Shuttle flight (Columbia) was successfully launched on April 12, 1981. Thereafter, a small fleet of Space Shuttles took turns taking men and women astronauts, along with vast amount of supplies into Earth orbit.  Although there were two tragedies during this program, for 30 years the Space Shuttle program provided humans unprecedented access to space, and the means by which to transport massive amounts of materials to build the International Space Station.

The final flight of the Space Shuttle is scheduled for June 2011.  

What’s next?

The concept had been to basically reinvent and modernize the splash in the ocean space capsule of the 1970s.  The new program was named Constellation.  When announced in 2004 by President Bush, he invisioned it being used in the short term to transport 4 passengers too the space station aboard the capsule, identified as the Orion Crew Vehicle.  Later, the Constellation program would take the Orion Crew Vehicle far beyond Earth orbit. The first operational manned flights were projected to occur in 2016, and a return to the Moon was projected for 2019.  If all went as planned, a variant of the Orion Crew Vehicle would travel to Mars by 2031. (to learn more go to http://www.universetoday.com/84501/nasas-first-orion-capsule-and-new-space-operations-center-unveiled/)

Unfortunately, the development of the Aires 1 Rocket, the new heavy lift rocket for use in the Constellation program was cancelled. Last year the entire Constellation program was canceled.  And, more recently the ongoing development of the Orion Crew Vehicle has been impeded as a result of a reduction in program funding.

The Orion Crew Vehicle will eventually be completed, and it will be launched by a yet to be designed rocket. But in the meantime, for the first time since I was 11 years old watching John Glenn blast into space, the United States of America after June of this year will not have the capability to launch even a single astronaut into space, not even low Earth orbit.

From American soil, the only space travel will be offered by Virgin Galactica.  Even though Virgin Galactica cannot yet orbit, it will have better manned flight capabilities than NASA (to book your flight go to http://www.virgingalactic.com/).

People of good will can debate the cost/benefit of the space program.  But, I would submit that for the time being, we most certainly have lost a program that inspired many to excel in the sciences. 

Eventually we will rediscover the drive and dream President Kennedy fostered in the 1960’s, and once again an 11 year old will watch and dream as the exploration of space begins anew.

Good Eating and Table Talk,


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