When I was at university, my roommate’s parents went on a cooking tour in Tuscany. They came back with a sheaf of recipes and invited me to dinner to sample one of their new dishes – fettucine with artichokes. It didn’t look particularly impressive but the first forkful nearly made me cry with gratitude.
That dinner was one of the most memorable meals I’ve ever eaten. A large pottery bowl of pasta doused in a white wine and stock based sauce – garlicky and delicate at the same time, a gorgeous salad of mixed organic greens and olives drenched in an olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette, a loaf of sourdough bread, and an exquisite, crisp Italian Pinot Grigio. For dessert – a dark chocolate and raspberry tiramisu that melted in the mouth.
There was just one small problem. They had been told not to share the recipe and out of respect for the chef they agreed to keep it a secret. My roommate later gave me a very fast oral version of the recipe which went something like this, “1/4 cup each of butter and olive oil, a tiny bit of flour, garlic – lots of garlic, artichokes, lemon, white wine, chicken stock, and cheese – but don’t kill it with loads of crappy North American cheese. Maybe a few capers. Don’t ask me to repeat any of this.”
That was it – I wrote it down as fast as I could in my own crazy homemade version of shorthand trying to remember what she had said. And then I started experimenting and perfecting the quantities. I added a few things over the years – like sun-dried tomatoes. I changed out the chicken stock for organic vegetarian stock. I’ve tried adding chopped, cooked chicken – but much prefer it without. When I remember, I top it with chopped fresh parsley.
What resulted was a recipe that I’ve made so many times over the years that my family have dubbed it Fettucine Lindy. It is my all-time favourite dish. It’s simple, tasty, healthy and vegetarian. I like it best made with fresh pasta. In Kingston, we are fortunate to have the sweetest, most compact and adorable Italian deli, Pasta Genova, where they make their own fresh pasta and focaccia daily. I get my pasta there when I can but dried works too. I keep bottled artichokes and fettucine on hand always.
You can read more below in the Kingston Whig Standard’s review of A Taste of Wintergreen (click on the link below). The recipe is included at the end of the review. Eat it and weep.
13 thoughts on “pasta that makes me cry with gratitude”
The greyish reverse type is (small and) hard to read. 😦
Hello Hungry Guy – sorry about the small type and greyish reverse type (which shows as white on my computer). Possibly this is due to your web browser and or screen resolution. If you use Internet Explorer as your browser – you can use Ctrl ALT + (plus) to increase the font size. And in the meantime, I have contacted WordPress to figure out how to increase the font size for all my posts….
A kitchen goddess as well as a computer guru! Amazing! Thanks for the technical info. (Now if only I can get the spilled food and crumbs off my keyboard. Hmmm.)
Thanks Hungry guy – much appreciate the feedback and am still working on how to permanently increase the font size in WordPress. A computer guru – i am not!
I love this dish…… So easy to do, and absolutely wonderful….
Even I like this pasta and you know how picky I am! Nice post mumma! xox
Oh Elly – you know how much I love cooking for you. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Between your allergies and your pickiness I do not know how you have survived 😛 haha xo
Jess – she is a DIVA! And I cater to her every whim! xox
don’t know how you did it Lindy! you’re a saint that’s for sure 😉
cuz I love her to bits! you too Jess – I’d cater to you too. Anytime…. x0x0x
aww i love you both too xo