Tag Archives: Pasta

Valentine’s Day, 2011

Okay, let’s be honest.  Valentine’s Day is a marketer’s dream.  Red, pink, chocolate, hearts, Cupids with chubby dimpled buttocks–it’s all very sweet, and entirely manufactured.  I’ve long been a cynic about Valentine’s Day, far more so than about any of the other Hallmark Holidays.  For me, the real magic comes the day after, when chocolate goes on sale.

But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t something inherently lovely in the day.  Showing loved ones a little extra care and devotion is never a bad thing.  And if there has to be a designated calendar day to remind us of that, then so be it.  For me, Valentine’s Day is about genuine displays of warmth and affection, whether it be for romantic partners or friends, parents or siblings or children.

And when I want to lavish someone with love, I feed them.  (This should come as no surprise to…well, anyone.)  To me, it’s the ultimate homemade gift: a special meal of favorite ingredients, prepared by hand and served with care.  As The Boyfriend said, “It’s like flowers, but I can eat it.”

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Pasta with anchovy sauce

Let’s talk about anchovies.

They’re not easy to like.  They’re salty, they’re fishy, they’re pungent, and they’re generally not out to make friends.  Given the chance, they’ll take over a dish, running roughshod (or rough-finned?) over meeker, milder flavors.  A mere mention of the word prompts scrunched noses and pouts.  “I don’t really…like anchovies.”

Which is a damn shame, because they’re absolutely delicious when they’re treated right.

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