“I’ve been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library.” The Great Gatsby
Scotch, Champaign and various other liquors*
A country house with a back porch*
A beautiful, young, rich girl*
1 grilled chicken breast
200 grams of butterfly noodle pasta
4 tomatoes, peeled and seeded
Two eggs, hardboiled
Extra-virgin Olive Oil
Thyme, basil, salt and pepper to taste
*ingredients 1-7 are optional
Pasta is different from you and me. The pure water and hard flour from which it solidifies and strengthens itself allows it to retain its pure form longer than we do. It suffers no past to which it yearns to return, needs no love to sustain it, and in its dry, ever waiting-to-be-boiled state becomes neither compromised nor unclean as some food products do, like, say, peanut butter, yeah, like peanut butter, ya’ know how it kinda’ tastes like milk and coke after it’s been open in the fridge too long? Uhh, anyway.
Only an essential, clean sauce can complete an elegant pasta dish as a purple-hued cloud can complete a glorious summer sunset. Not a vulgar sauce like, say, one made with Italian meatballs, those shiny, dirty round mounds of grease that sit glistening on the top of Little Italy restaurant displays calling out to passing Midwestern travelers like sirens to Odysseus’ crew. This dish is closer to the essence of pasta and for that reason I recommend you use only the finest ingredients, Martelli butterfly noodles, the most virgin of Tuscan olive oils, and free–range Connecticut chicken. (Avoid those of New Jersey, as they are often unclean. I know Hemingway thinks such differences are pretentious and without significance but he puts ketchup on his hotdogs. Ketchup. Hotdogs. ‘Nough said.)
The preparation itself is very easy. Rent the largest summer country estate available. Then organize a party, inviting as many notable people as you can, (a number of Yale men is essential on such occasions,) but before they arrive make sure you’ve stocked the house with plenty of Scotch, Champaign and any other drinks that might come to mind. Hire a 7-peice jazz band to play throughout the evening and a good caterer to set up a grand buffet of tomato sandwiches, smoked salmon and salmon-egg crostini, an assortment of fresh clams, oysters, crab legs, etc.
Meanwhile on the small back porch quietly begin preparing a meal for two. Simply mix together all the ingredients that you earlier instructed the catering staff to prepare and leave on a table not too far away. Then go upstairs and change into the most gorgeous rags you have. Return. As the half-moon begins rising over the silhouette of trees on the other side of the bay turn on the porch light. Wait. Light a cigarette. Have some scotch. Pine. Repeat the process many times as the pasta salad becomes increasingly dry and hard, losing the magic suppleness and delightful flavor it once had in the beginning, so long ago.
At around 5am when the last of the guests have gone slide out of your clothes and put on some sweats, dish out some of the now cool, indifferent pasta salad, grab a beer from the fridge and plop yourself down on the couch in front of the tube. (She must not have seen the porch light. Or maybe she didn’t understand. Or maybe…ah, screw it. Turn on the cooking channel. Great. An Iron Chef rerun. Life sucks.)
The next morning go online. Do a Google search for cheap flights to Europe. Go to Paris for 5 years. Call Hemingway first and see if he’d like to come along. When you get back try throwing another dinner party. Maybe sushi next time…yeah, sushi, that’s it, if only I’d a made sushi….
The real recipe:
1 chicken breast, grilled
4 quail eggs, hardboiled
EV olive oil
salt and pepper
12 sicilian date tomatoes
2 small sticks of oregano
8-10 basil leaves
oil to fry
1 red garlic clove
180 grams of butterfly pasta
Slice the tomatoes in half, sprinkle with salt and oregano and put them in an oven for about 5 minutes at about 200 degrees (C.), then 5 more at about 160. Remove and let then chill. Do your usual grill on the chicken breast (you can marinade or sweeten with honey or just brush with oil and sprinkle with salt flakes and fresh ground pepper, ecc.) Let the meat gather its juices once cooked. Boil the quail eggs for 2 minutes in barely boiling water, then remove and chill immediately in cold water. Clean and dry the basil leaves very well, then fry them in oil (I use olive oil, it doesn’t take much of it) rapidly – careful not to burn. It takes… not more than 20 seconds or so. Boil the butterfly noodles, drain. Slice the cooled chicken into bite-sized cubes, then gently mix all the ingredients except the basil in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper and herbs to taste. Before placing the ingredients into the bowl rub it as well as the individual serving bowls with fresh garlic – just slice the clove in 2, lightly crush. Once plated, place the fried basil on top. Serve lukewarm with a medium-structured white wine. Or the Champaign.
link- mint julep, Gatsby’s drink (even if we don’t agree with the blogger on some points )-https://foodinbooks.com/2016/05/08/the-great-gatsby-by-f-scott-fitzgerald/
link- cole porter, night and day:
Food: Pasta Noir – MARY SHELLY’S MONSTER LASAGNA
“I beheld the wretch – the miserable monster whom I had created.” Frankenstein
For the pasta:
A pipe organ
600 grams of egg Lasagna noodles
A dark and stormy night*
13 tomatoes genetically spliced with Black Angus DNA
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper
*I mean a really, really, really dark and stormy night.
For the Béchamel sauce:
50 grams of flour
50 grams of butter
1/2 a liter of whole milk
50 grams of Parmesan Cheese
Wait for a massive thunderstorm. After peeling and seeding the tomatoes put them in a metal pot and hoist them up the tower and under the lightning rod you pre-installed on the roof. As you wait for them to be repeatedly electrocuted, hammer some dissonant chords on the organ. And laugh hysterically, like this: HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!
Have a kitchen helper chop the onions, boil the noodles, and prepare the Béchamel sauce. (Best if he’s kind of short, hunched-back and scary lookin’.) Have him call you master. Then have him pull the electrocuted beef-tomatoes down from the roof. Be sure to laugh again. (HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!) On the 5th‘HA!’ you notice something moving, ever so slightly, on the rim of the smoldering metal bowl. It’s the tomatoes! They’re alive!
Tell the kitchen helper to kill them. They fight back! They unionize! No-o-o-o-o-o! Run, run, run for your life! After you’ve calmed down, go back into the kitchen and try to negotiate with the tomatoes. Ask them, “Hey Dudes, what’s the problem?” They say they won’t be taken advantage of like Lugosi was. They want 10% of the gross, non-negotiable, 10% of the merchandising royalties, and triple pay for the sequel. Plus full health and dental. Call up your lawyers and tell them to work it out. You think to yourself it’s time to take a long vacation. You’ve always wanted to see Alaska.
The recipe: Boil some lasagna noodles in salted water. After straining, alternate the cooked noodles in an oven pan with some ragu, (see Joyce’s ragu,) or anything else you have in mind, seafood, sausage, a vegetarian sauce, etc. Mix the ingredients for the béchamel sauce and pour it over top into the pan. Place the pan in a hot oven for 30-40 minutes. Or just order a pizza, open a couple a’ brews, plop in an old Frankenstein flick, sit back and chill.
link- Mary Shelly: https://interestingliterature.com/2015/08/30/five-fascinating-facts-about-mary-shelley/
…and, of course:
“With the bread eaten up, up breaks the company.” Don Quixote
A field of tomatoes (10-12)
A horse and armor
2 Garlic cloves
Salt and pepper
100-150 grams of Chorizo salami
500 grams of spaghettoni
Have Sancho gather garlic and assorted herbs from the countryside before shining your armor at night. Make sure Rocinante gets plenty of rest so he is ready for battle in the morning.The hardest thing about making pasta is subduing the wild tomatoes. It is best to catch them at dawn when they are still sleeping on the vine, but even so, they will put up a fight, so be prepared.
When Sancho dresses you in your armor be sure it is securely attached. Once he has helped you mount take up your lance and move quietly towards the tomatoes. Remember to put your visor down before charging. Tomatoes squirt a poisonous liquid that burns your eyes. Give Sancho a knife to protect himself as he moves behind you to gather the wild tomatoes you slay.
The battle will appear easy at first but soon the tomatoes will start launching their poisonous fluid and pulling at your lance, trying to dismount you. Don’t fall off your horse! If you fall, the tomatoes will swarm! Call constantly to Sancho, asking if he has gathered enough slain tomatoes for the pasta. It is best to get in and out quickly, so once he has retreat immediately.
Make sure Sancho uses gloves when he undresses you after the battle, as your armor will be covered with deadly venomous liquid, which is also red and difficult to distinguish from blood. As Sancho cleans your armor and makes the pasta, count the dead and consign all the details of your glorious victory to paper while they are still fresh in your memory. Don’t forget to write a poem dedicating your victory to your lady. Sancho will make sure it gets delivered.
The recipe: Boil the spaghettoni in abundant salted water. Dice the chorizo into very small cubes and sauté in a saucepan until lightly browned then add the chopped garlic. Once the garlic is clear add the peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes and season. Cook for 5-6 minutes on medium heat, add the parsley and a few drops of olive oil and pour over the pasta. Serve with a decent Rioja.
link- Cervantes on food – http://www.azquotes.com/author/2661-Miguel_de_Cervantes/tag/food
Pasta Noir. It’s free, it has real recipes, and it may be the only recipe book with bloopers…..download ebook:https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B85ReGrWCxe8UlhQMEFTa3EzU1U/view?usp=sharing