February 01, 2010

Swimming in Currents of Cream

Bits of garlic were clinging to the wall of the pan. Petite florets of broccoli mingled with heavy cream, olive oil and aged cheddar. A ladle of pasta water caused floating red pepper flakes and bits of shallot to dunk and disperse. All in the name of dinner.

Thunk goes the sink as the pasta is drained. We are blinded by the steam. The once boiling water rushes and twirls to its final destination, leaving behind a salty, starchy film. 

Equitable portions are showered with a confetti of parsley, Parmesan and black pepper before being placed on the table.

A half pound of shells, we are eager to commence with the eating.

Once seated, forks in hand, we have to remind ourselves to chew. So simple, the act of chewing. So forgotten, when such a creamy bliss as this touches the tongue. We want to devour. It amuses us, this moment. Despite our efforts, we eat quickly. The second helping, just a few scoops left, seem to linger in our mouths a bit longer, but not by much.

"But we have to eat it quick...it will get cold!" I proclaim.

Later, after the dishes have been washed, the lunches for the following day have been made, we retire to the living room. I've got The Concise Gastronomy of Italy by Anna Del Conte in hand. I'm studying terms and techniques. I ask Roberto "Is this right?" I slide the book over, point to the word fondo, defined as cooking basics or juices, '...the mixture of flavourings that gives the dish its particular flavour.'

Much later, I dream. I dream in Italian. Can this be? I am speaking, quite emphatically—gesturing with my hands, and understanding.

Morning arrives with a flourish. I am up early, milling San Marzano tomatoes and chopping garlic before heading off to work...


  1. gorgeous post. gorgeous food!!!!!!

  2. We too are guilty of eating too fast when it is sooooooooo good.
    Pasta + cream is bliss. Sounds like a lovely night and a lovely dream.

  3. yumm dinner! God I wish I could eat pasta like that everyday! Those last set of ingredients going to mill all day together for a sauce tonight? I have paprika and curry marinating on some chicken breasts today too, hopefully that will up the flavor factor tonight!

  4. this sounds a thousand times better than the whole chicken that awaits me in the crock pot for tonight's dinner.

  5. I think the idea of anything pasta swimming around in cream is divine. Wonderful!

  6. Girl, your writing delights me SO much! :-) Creamy pasta sounds wonderful for a winter's eve. Today I'm craving potatoes, and crispy prosciutto. Perhaps I will have pasta tomorrow. :-)

  7. I've totally dreamed in Italian, and I spoke better then compared any day of our week there.

    Gorgeous photos, as always!

  8. Your creamy pasta looks delicous and the story that leads to the first bite is delightful.

  9. THis looks so good!!!
    Pasta with Broccoli: so yummy.....
    And your photos makes me want to eat lunch now (it's just 8:20 am)

  10. You always have the best dinners.

  11. Your writing style is very seductive! It does not help that I wanted gnocchi last night and did not get to eat any....! Such a beautiful post. Glad I found your blog :)

  12. I have nightmares in Italian.
    Good title for the post...and the post, well this is pasta poetry.

  13. I want to dream in Italian, gestures and all.

  14. so so lovely. the photos, the writing ...all of it!

  15. oh loooooordy.

    i need this for lunch. it's 10AM and i'm already thinking about it!


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