The pasta world is a world of seemingly infinite variety. The sheer volume of the different pasta shapes made, cooked and eaten around the globe never ceases to amaze me. Growing up in North America, I was familiar with the rotinis, penne and bow ties (farfalle) of the world. I didn’t know just how tiny my pasta knowledge was until I began cooking in earnest. And honestly, when I learned of my ignorance, I was floored. Strozzapreti, pici, lanterne; these were completely foreign and wonderful to me. I mean, really, when orecchiette is a novelty to you, you’re due for quite the education. The best part of my ongoing schooling is whenever I think I’ve got this pasta thing on lock, a new variety finds a way of grabbing my attention. Such was the case with today’s Handkerchief Pasta with Pistachio Arugula Pesto.
Deconstructed. The word makes me wince. Think of how many Deconstructed Somethings you’ve seen floating around Pinterest and Instagram. Many of them are designed to side-step technical difficulty (re: Sushi Bowls), which I don’t have a problem with. Not everyone has the deft hand or equipment required to recreate a favorite dish at home. No, what I have a problem with is the deconstructed dishes that act like they’re moving the ball forward. The ones that come with the snobbishness of supposed innovation. Ugh! Get over yo’self!
Today’s Eggplant Parm Grilled Cheese should only be attempted on a rainy, miserable day. You know, a day when you simply can’t weather the weather (Ugh! I’m terrible). I mean, smooshing fried goodness into a gooey cheese-riddle sandwich is not the kind of behavior you can justify on a daily basis. No, this sandwich should be reserved for smash-the-glass style emergencies. It should be applied when the sky looks set to destroy you, your pant legs are soaked, and your mood is so low it’s in your shoes. This sandwich has the ability to restore your faith in humanity. It has the power to make you enjoy the sting in your frosty cheeks and fingers. It has the capacity to make you love inclement weather just because it feels so good to escape it. Yes, this Eggplant Parm Grilled Cheese is *that* powerful, so it’s best to respect it.
If you read my last post, you know it was Thanksgiving here in Canada this past weekend. As a result, pretty much the entire country is currently hungover and full. I for one shouldn’t have had that second (third) turkey mole enchilada. Probably could’ve done without that third (fourth) glass of wine or the bourbon(s) I had with dessert. Anyway, water under the bridge. It’s the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and it’s a new me, well it is until I get distracted by something buttery. We can’t be good all the time, so what’s the point in trying, right? What we can do is try to limit the damage and today’s Buttercup Cheesy Shells is a prime example of this culinary compromise.