Thursday, July 8, 2010

This runner is now an official Ciao Hound.

TRIUMPH! La Cucina Italiana and I got food on the table!

Granted, we got off to a rocky start last night. Michael was startled and confused by the sudden appearance of actual food on our dining room table … especially a plattered ball of beef the size of his head smothered in tomato sauce and served with side dishes and real forks.

I’ve spent our entire married life convincing the boy that popcorn IS a hot meal. And last night he realized there could be more. This was a delicate, pivotal moment in our marriage.

Undaunted by Michael’s nervous breakdown last night, tonight I prepared Pasticcio di Ziti. Translation: Ziti baked in some flashy, high drama tomato sauce. Cost: $29.44. Servings: looks like maybe 25 --- I couldn’t lift it. I served it with crisp green salads, crusty bread, and Cabernet.

The cool thing about the Pasticcio di Ziti is that it contains Pecorino, prosciutto, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. I’ve concluded that most any food that starts with a “P” and ends with an “O” is delicious … which is good, because we WILL be eating this again and often. And by “this,” I mean THIS particular pan of Pasticcio di Ziti. Like forever or until we can consume 23 more portions, whichever comes first.

Now I answer the question that hangs in the air: “What happened to the Risotto with Clams, Crusader Bev Who Blames BP Oil for the Eternal Downfall of Clamming?” Simple. I couldn’t find all the ingredients that I needed to prepare the recipe, so my little package of clams became a simple appetizer tonight. The Clam Cram continues, but Bev isn’t driven insane.

And here’s tonight’s question: “O Princess of Shortcuts and Swapping Ingredients, is it true that a dish tastes best when it’s prepared with ALL the real and right stuff?”

Oh, yes, my darlings. Oh, yes, indeed. Tonight I got smootched!

So the next question will be: “How do Italians stay thin?”

I’m guessing that tomorrow’s run will have to be longer and more brutally paced than today’s. At this rate, by the time we get to our anniversary, Michael will be a happy boy and I'll be large enough to command my own gravitational pull. I'm now beginning to understand the long flowing robes favored by Roman senators and the Pope.


By the way, George Hirsch, marathon runner and publisher of the American edition of La Cucina Italiana, will be here on July 28 to keynote our Anhinga Writers' Studio Summer Workshops. His name doesn't begin with a "P" and end with an "O" ... but our evening with him will be DELICIOUS!

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