A Dish to Die For

Perhaps it is time for me to wax poetic.  No funny stuff…just heartfelt feeling expressed in dramatic and artistic form for my dear readers.

As the Rayman is engaged (actively) with the dishes, I find my hands free so I’m attempting to ward off death by staying busy, busy, busy.  

One of the grand pleasures in life in knowing how to plate a great meal in minutes.  All muss and fuss set aside.  A meal that can be orchestrated with minimum ingredients and, yet, sublime.  So, let me introduce do you to…Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…no, no, no.  That isn’t right.  But it might have been the genesis of dinner tonight when pepper took the bold stand of being a major ingredient.


So, at this point, are you with me?

Pepper aka pepe is part of the dinner.  It usually is but plays a secondary role, supporting actress if you will.  Not so with tonight’s dinner.  No siree.  

Let’s first explore how it came to be that I decided on this particular dish.  I was lazy.  Walking 18 holes yesterday took its toll and so did the fact that I was stuck on said computer trying to correct a previous mistake I had made when I fell for a scam, gave out my credit card (luckily with the Portland address which is not my billing address) and had to call the Chase to ask for a new card.  Of course, this was the card that all our bills are paid by and with.  We leave this card at home so we don’t have to replace because we lose it.  No.  I managed, still, with all that care, to screw up anyway.  

Oops.  I forgot.  I’m am to wax poetic.

Dearest reader, the printing on the card was exquisite.  The colors sublime.  The shape suggested a city block with wonderful 90 degree angles laid out with loving precision.


I digress.

Back to my dinner which we all know can either be fabulous or, what’s the opposite of fabulous?  A debacle?  Unforced error?  

Drum roll please.  Cacio and Pepe.  OMG…the king of the pasta world in simplicity and calories perhaps, though I doubt it.  Alfredo is bound to have more calories.  Essentially, you lovingly draw the water which in my case took about 3 minutes because we have a faulty thingie on our long necked goose, I mean long necked kitchen faucet that has hardly been used and the water is somehow constricted.  But time is a beautiful thing and this allowed me to saunter around the kitchen with gin and tonic in hard and grind the pepper…the fresh ground scent perfuming the air with every twist.  (As a practical matter, this also allowed me to exercise my right hand wrist.) as I waited for the pot to fill.

Then the water was salted with a flourish I first observed at an Italian opera and the lid placed on the pot to hasten the boiling of the water.  

Another pan was enlisted in the effort and into it I gently but lovingly placed two tablespoons of butter which melted so slowly, you could visually imagine the molecules dancing in the pan.  The pepper was placed with great care into the warm butter and the two did a waltz of such beauty that it brought tears to my eyes.  That resulted in a luxurious butter/pepper sauce.  

At last the bubbles did their dance and the pot was filled with dancing bubbles…a miracle never once mentioned in the Bible. But the writers of the Bible did elude to the Red Sea parting.  Not mentioning the bubbles, I’m sure a slight oversight.


Digress occurs again.

Once the pasta was tingling with excitement, I timed it for seven minutes and when the melodic tune of the timer went off, it was time to drain the sphagetti leaving in reserve 1/2 c of pasta water to gently place into the butter/pepper pan.  In this, I accidentally spilled some water but this we will not dwell upon.  

Another bit of beautiful butter was added to the glistening pan, then the cheeses.  Both Reggiano and Romano were slowly added to the pasta and the pasta was tossed with tongs in such a way so that the cheese didn’t, well, glob up (not a poetic word).   

OMG.  With a robust glass of red, dinner was  plated and presented.  


Here is the link to the recipe.






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