Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Before we begin tonight’s blog on the Kenyan Runner’s nightly desecration of the culinary heritage of Italy, we must address the delicate issues involving my accidentally overdosing Michael Browning on prunes last night.

Monday dinner, as you know, was a dramatic turning point in Project La Cucina Italiana: when Michael suddenly realized that there’s a fine line between a chef and a felon. I thought it was a little overly dramatic to screech his chair back up against the wall, point to my beautiful dish, and declare it to be the unholy pasta version of attempted manslaughter. As an upstart chef, one never wants to hear the word “apocalyptic” applied to one’s artistry. And yet …

Last night was so ugly.

Deeply concerned about Michael today, I phoned him in the midmorning to see how he was feeling. He seemed to be fine. When I discreetly inquired (using euphemisms, for we are Southern), he gave no details of his personal digestion, citing medical confidentiality and HIPAA violation. He IS a PA, after all.

And guess what! He came back to the table tonight … but only after studying the recipe I had taped to the cabinet door above the counter where I work. Smart man.

Penne alla Riccotta con Asparagi
Penne with Ricotta and Asparagus

(Uh, sorry. Still a little touchy.)

I highly recommend this dish. It’s beautiful in every way. It’s also fairly simple. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m thinking that two dishwasher loads for one bowl of noodles sort of defines “fairly simple” in this project.

Tomorrow night is our anniversary, so I will disappear from my desk a few minutes early and get to work on turning the evening into a celebration of a marriage that has been going strong for more than 30 years and even survived last night. July 21st will be the first time EVER that we have not gone out on our anniversary, testament to the joy in our kitchen, the fun in our dining room, and Michael’s capacity for humor and forgiveness. Oh, yeah.

And just so you know, I’ve planned menus beyond July 21st. That's LOVE, baby.



  1. It looks wonderful. Hope you have a wonderful anniversary tomorrow! MJ, LJ, and I will have to find some way to amuse ourselves tomorrow. Looks like tonight was a winner!

  2. Gorgeous! Happy Anniversary, Lovebirds!

  3. When I saw all the merriment of today, I was so disappointed that it went on without me. But I have to work to afford asparagus and Pepto Bismol. I can't tell you how hilarious Facebook was this evening as I read your conversations in one stream. You guys are crazy ... and I mean that in a GOOD way. My kind of way.