Massimo and Broccoli Pasta

April 25th, 2019 § 0 comments

BSK cooks splendid penne with broccoli sauce. Healthy, delicious eating and a perfect companion for red wine. BSK does a sauce of pureed, blanched broccoli florets and stems. The florets and stems are carefully poached until tender (but not mushy). The water is drained and BSK purees them with an immersion blender. In a saucepan, olive oil, anchovies, garlic, shallots, red pepper flakes and herbs are sauteed. Cooked penne is added to this sauce along with some starchy pasta water. Gives the pan vigorous stirs. Florets and stems go on top. Another stir. Finally, the dish is topped with slices of mozzarella and chopped tomatoes. HG likes to splash extra virgin olive oil on HG’s portion. BSK opts for grated parmesan. This delightful taste of Italy made HG think about a New York dinner at Delsomma Restaurant (long closed) some 36 years ago. This was HG/BSK’s introduction to the love of daughter Lesley’s life, Massimo R. (They wed two years later and are the parents of two brilliant and beautiful women, Arianna and Sofia R. The marriage has flourished). When HG looked at Massimo, HG saw a tall, athletic, ruggedly handsome man. (HG/BSK agreed that he looked like an Italian movie star.) Massimo’s initial nervousness wore off and he proved to be sensitive, erudite, politically progressive, a star tennis player and on his way to a distinguished academic career. And, he loved food and wine. The perfect son-in-law. The meal started with penne in broccoli sauce (That’s what provoked this remembrance). The meal progressed to lightly battered shrimp in a lemon/butter sauce. Don’t remember what else was eaten but am sure it was splendid. Indeed, Massimo has gone on to academic luster. Tenured Professor at Brown University and former head of the Italian studies department. Director of Brown’s foreign studies program at the University of Bologna. Author of a number of books and many scholarly papers. He has embraced modern technology and his pioneering work has made much of Italian culture available on the internet. His extraordinary visual exhibit on Garibaldi received acclaim. His achievements have been honored by the Italian government. The Italian film festival he organizes at Brown is a highlight of the academic year. He has lectured throughout the world. (Most recently in Tokyo where he and Lesley visited with Lesley’s brother, SJ, and his family). Massimo is an ardent feminist and has been supportive of Lesley’s excellent career as journalist, editor and communications director. No slouch at domestic responsibilities, he is the undisputed world champion of dishwasher stacking and a maestro at the ironing board. No, Massimo (familiarly known as “Max”) is not perfect. He likes his pasta super al dente and has passed this dubious taste to Lesley and (sadly) to BSK. HG does not approve but has been tactful (relatively).

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