This pasta is a show-stopper (and delicious). It's extravagant in that it requires one bottle of drinkable red wine for about four serves. Details below.
During the 'Lockdown", I have been part of an on-line group (mainly as observer) that connects by posting a daily photo of dinner on FaceBook. These are not professional cooks but an international, mixed bunch of people, staying/working from home. At the beginning, some were quick to point out that they did not cook; they were too busy, their jobs, their social lives and net-working obligations were so intense that they just had to eat out most nights of the week. I didn't buy it.
In amongst the happy choppers there were also those who were rather startled to find they were enjoying themselves. I've always said cooking was better than yoga.
It was interesting to watch the group grow, not just in number but in confidence and range. At first hesitant and apologetic, as the same names came up over and over, they showed more flair, more adventurous techniques.
But some thumbs down...
Left: Deliciously juicy
Right: "Healthy" variety but some dressing please, some juiciness please.
And it seems that baking is the new status symbol, the new "power" activity. We have the time to make something that is a luxury in that it is not totally necessary. And there was good baking and sad baking, the worst being a pumpkin and apple tart made without sugar or butter so that it was "healthy". No image recommended.
Left: - a bun to be proud of.
Right: "breaking bad" with rhubarb.
The most controversial observation I make is there is "too much pasta". There is too much pasta being prepared/eaten/ordered - a carbohydrate overload. Pasta is not a meat or fish substitute, pasta is not a vegetable substitute. It's a filler. It's a carbohydrate. It's a flavour carrier; part of a course, not something to build a meal on. (A potato is in fact more nutritious.) Kids are leaving home and getting used to living on the stuff, the only thing they have been taught to prepare.
Pasta is not a meal, it's a course. (I've written this and Krakatoa has not erupted!)
I'm not being culturally insensitive. Living on pasta is like living on cake or bread and dripping. Fine every now and again but... Any self-respecting Italian will tell you it's part of a fuller meal.
That said, I've become obsessed with the red pasta below and perfected the quantities enough to pass it on..
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