When I made this pasta, this perfect little dish of springtime ribbons, tasty caramelized vegetables and salty, sharp Parmesan, the city was beautiful. Being Chicago, spring decided to appear mid-May, and it was about time. All the typical players were up—young, excited spring shoots, full bushy trees, just opening tulips, daffodils etc. It was lovely, and all I wanted was the green outside to be replicated in the green on my plate. Because at that point I been so green-deprived that the leaves and things outside were not enough. I needed to consume springtime, eat it all up.
Today, I went to class. It was gray.
It was raining. I walked in the building looking like I had not only pissed my pants, but like I had pissed my pants and my boots had filled up with so much water that liquid exploded all over my jacket and sweater, going against gravity. In the most flattering of ways, the rain had soaked me dip-dyed, so that I looked like a forgotten, un-flipped and now burnt pancake. Charred on one side, uncooked on the other. Useless and ruined.
Weather gets me down sometime. After all, it’s May 25th. You can’t even round down and say “the beginning of May.” There is no way to marginalize and say May 25th is close to April, and therefore April showers… No. The only way to deal with water spurting from everywhere, it seems, is denial. Which thankfully, I’m very good at. What rain? Oh, this water splashed all over me, it didn’t come from the sky. I couldn’t actually say why I look drowned at nine in the morning. But it’s certainly not because of the weather. Yes, denial is key. As it turns out, in these instance of surprise puddles and rivers, so is pasta. Ribbon pasta. Green and sun and springtime and happy things distilled in a simple dish. It makes the day better. And since it’s not raining, it’s just another delicious dish.
Swirls of sweet slightly browned vegetables and perfect pasta in a creamy, spicy coating. What rain?
(But, I’ll be real. Rain gotta stop. I only have a bit of Ribbons left….)
Recipe on the following page.