Maybe it’s the way she grates her cheese,
Or just the freckles on her knees.
Maybe it’s the scallions. Maybe she’s Italian.
I can’t reveal her name but Eggplant is her game.
When my baby cooks her Eggplant,
She don’t read no book.
She’s got a Gioconda kinda of dirty look.
—Michael Franks, “Eggplant,” The Art of Tea, 1976
Lately, life has been brimming over, teeming with some wonderful “firsts.” Our first dance as a wedded couple, our first trip to Italy together, our first Saturday night at home together, our first meals cooked in our new kitchen — whether a quesadilla, a tuna fish sandwich or Tracie P’s killer chicken and dumplings (a wonderful new recipe she clipped from a magazine), every meal feels special and all-the-more flavorful if only because with every meal we christen another piece in our new flatware, dishware, and cookware. Can you see how much my super-fine lady likes her new Cuisinart sauté pan? Perfect for one of her signature dishes, sautéed broccoli raab.
Last night, although exhausted after a weekend of unpacking and hanging photographs and art work (and finally setting up my little home studio), we threw our first dinner party and Tracie P made her first ragù in our new home. Beyond the fact that it is unbelievably delicious, Tracie P’s ragù holds a special place in my heart because when we first started writing each other, in the very early times of our relationship when we were just pen pals, we traded a lot of notes on our respective ragù philosophies… As many of you know, ragù can be a deal-breaker in any love affair! ;-)
She served the ragù, which she made in our new Le Creuset, over penne rigate by Rustichella d’Abruzzo, one of our favorite dried pasta brands. The whole penne rigate (ridged penne) vs. penne lisce (smooth penne) could have also been a deal-breaker but luckily my gorgeous Tracie P and I are of “one mind” on this issue. ;-)
When choosing the colors for our table setting, Tracie P went with our wedding colors: robin egg blue and pomegranate red.
(Btw, some super fun wines were served as well, including the 2007 Villa Bucci Verdicchio dei Castelli di Iesi, paired with appetizers, and a wonderful 2006 Vin de Paille by Vins de Vienne, 100% Marsanne, that we paired with a cheese course for dessert.)
Maybe it’s the way she grates her cheese… I’m just crazy about her… :-)