I want to go to Paris and eat food that I can’t pronounce, and drink too much wine, and wake up in a room with high ceilings and frescoes on the walls. And I don’t want to cook. I want someone to make the food for me–course after course–and when I’m done, I will ask for pillows on the floor so that I can go to sleep. Wouldn’t that be nice? It’s not going to happen. I don’t even have an Edith Piaf tape.
It’s not that my husband won’t cook. He would be happy to cook every once in a while. The truth is that I’m the biggest control freak in a kitchen known to human or beast, so it’s my own fault that nobody cooks for me. I don’t know what to tell you if you have the same condition, because I’m forty two now, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
The only solution is to buy a plane ticket, or when you get that feeling of “my job is done, and I am sitting down”, make something for dinner that takes less than ten minutes. There was beautiful broccoli rabe in the grocery store this week, and all you have to do with it is wash two bunches, cut off the bottom stems, and then throw it in some salted boiling water for about four minutes. Drain it, get new water in the same pan, salt it, and add about nine ounces of De Cecco pasta. Cook until it is al dente. Drain again, saving some of the pasta water in a cup. Put the same pan back on a flame with a good drizzle of that extra virgin olive oil that brings tears to your eyes it’s so good, and about four or five cloves of garlic sliced very thinly. Just when the garlic is going golden, add a quarter cup of chopped fresh parsely to the oil. This is critical. Fried parsley and steamy parsley are two different things. You need it to hit the oil for this. Add a (very) few red pepper flakes, or a whole pepperoncino if you have it, and then the broccoli rabe. Season with salt. Add the noodles, and a bit more of your olive oil, with a spill of the pasta water. Not too much, you’re looking to just moisten the pasta, and to finish cooking it. When it looks perfect, taste again for salt, add a heaping cup of Parmigiano Regiano, and serve. That’s it.
If I got you all hot under the collar for French though, forget the pasta, and buy a handmade pate (three pigs is a good one). One of my favorite ways to serve it is with brisee salad with a shallot and red wine vinaigrette and a fig jam on the side. You don’t need much after that. Maybe an omelette with caramelized onions and a pear that is just beginning to soften with a piece of Camembert.