November 27, 2009


The remaining leaves are holding on for dear life. Clinging to the branches. Birds are cowering in nests. Gray clouds loom high, rolling and menacing, looking for a place to perch, to release their final wrath. The sun, it's streaming and it summons a look from my eyes out the window every now and then. Threatening that it will go away if I do not pay attention. I'm paying attention. It's playing hide and seek.

The kitchen is quiet. I've just finished re purposing the bolognese leftovers we received yesterday from across the street. Our Thanksgiving was one of egg fettuccine with bolognese. The bolognese flecked with carrot and celery. Hidden, but fragrant, the bacon. A peppering of nutmeg. A nice thank you very much of wine. Onion, ground meat and luxuriously silky heavy cream.

There was quite a bit left over. A mound in a bowl with a spoon doesn't do it justice. Perhaps if I had taken a picture of the re purposed jar we carried it home in, one whose capacity is of mega-quarts. The lovingly prepared bolognese staking it's place at the bottom, filling it up almost halfway. Halfway is quite a bit. For all that I used to make a nice Pyrex dish worth of rigatoni with bologense (to be baked) for dinner, well you'd think that I would have made a dent. I suppose I did, it just wasn't that evident when I was putting everything back into the fridge.

About three quarters of a pound of rigatoni boiled in a salt bath for about 7 minutes or so. Just until it was almost al dente. Once drained and transferred to a large mixing bowl I added in heaping spoonful after heaping spoonful of the leftover bolognese. Stirring and stirring until it reached what I call sheer poetry. The meat was entwined with the rigatoni, it was coated with a most ample helping of Parmesan and the lightest dusting of fine seasoned breadcrumbs.

I've looked away from the window for far too long. The sun is getting ornery. I've just seen a plain. It's heading for home. Sleepy travelers with no leftovers to double-stuff themselves will numbly fight their way into holiday shoppers traffic motorcade. Poor souls. I hope they have pasta in their pantry. Definitely garlic, shallot and crushed red pepper. How can they not have some nice extra virgin olive oil? If they have all of these things they can make themselves a nice plate of pasta. Enjoy a nice glass or two of wine. I hope they can then shuffle over to their sofa, warm up inside of a nice blanket and fall asleep reading a really good book.

We, Roberto and I, will eat our baked rigatoni with leftover bolognese. We'll follow it with a mixed green salad and slices of rustic Italian bread...oh, I should roast some garlic to spread. Then, lupini, a buttery yellow legume which is prerequisite this time of year. We're almost finished the jar Roberto's mother gave us. We'll be needing more. We really must make our own batch. Perhaps before Christmas I'll share the process. The endless days of soaking process that produces the fit to eat, lupini. So good mixed with a healthy dose of fine salt. It's a treasure. But, you have to know how to extract the lupini from it's overcoat. Knowing how to eat lupini makes me feel Italian, it really does.

I've gone on and on about the lupini. Clementines. Beautiful, elvish in stature, sweet. So fragrant. We'll peel one or two after the lupini. We'll have to keep nursing a nice glass of wine all the while, though. That is also prerequisite.

Oh well, the sun isn't playing anymore. She's tired. It's getting ever close to sunset.

I can't wait for dinner...I hope we have enough bread.


  1. Lucky you, such good looking Bolognese and more to take home....Nice photo, real, thats what it looks like after all. Baked pasta, salad, bread, wine, lupini, clementines = excellent supper.

  2. rachel...and tonight will mark three days of bolognese...and then I really must try your roasted vegetable lasagne. :)

  3. Wowsa, those italian thanksgiving leftovers sound better than mine! GD it, I love pasta...gotta hold off until friday to start watching the ever expanding waistline.... Can't wait for cookbook club!

  4. Bolognese is on the list of things for me to try. Maybe one of these wintery weekends I'll finally stop talking and start cooking some up.

  5. will surely be a feast on Friday!

    Wendi...It's the perfect sauce for those cold fall and winter nights ahead. We eat it over nests of De Cecco egg fettuccine.

  6. where did you find lupini??? so jealous :) I remember buying those on the streets of Rome wrapped in plastic then newspaper

  7. Amelia PS...we have a nice little Italian deli a block away from us that sells dried lupini in a barrel.


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