Monthly Archive for August 2011
The best recipes are born in an instant. Or, at least that’s how they emerge in my world—in a split second, when hunger and inspiration collide, a product of the exact moment, the day, my mood, the weather, the season. It’s what happened with this one, and this one, and this one, and this one, and this one. And it’s what happened with this very satisfying, very quick, very of-the-season recipe: bucatini with cherry tomatoes, pancetta and basil. This one was the result of a grey day—one that followed a brilliant string of blindingly sunny days; a long work day; a few nights of less-than-stellar sleep. I wanted a warm bowl of something hearty and nourishing, but something that would not waste the precious, waning days of summer.
A basket of tiny tomatoes, red and gold alike, sat on the counter. A package of bucatini was stashed in the pantry. A few basil leaves threatened to wilt in the fridge. And two thick rounds of pancetta were a mere trip to the corner market away—nothing a sweet call to Kevin, a quick bat of my eye lashes, and a promise of pasta! with pancetta! and plenty of parm! couldn’t solve.
It’s that time of August when you realize that the end of summer is near, even if you can’t see it—like the moment after you pull the drain-stopper from a sink full of suds, just before the dishwater starts to twirl down the drain. All is still and calm, before it unstoppably slips away. Right now, in this moment, it’s not yet unstoppable.
Really, it’s a sweet spot of sorts. The overnight temperatures have started to dip, granting a crisp early-morning reprieve from the sweltering weeks gone by. But the evenings are still long and warm, sun-streaked and scented with grill smoke. The markets are resplendent with tomatoes and melons and peaches and corn; we won’t be apple-picking for a few more weeks yet. Hydrangea bushes heave with great big poms and the lush leaves atop the trees on either side of the street meet in the middle, arching into a sun-dappled canopy. Those same leaves will go golden and crimson soon, before they the carpet sidewalks below.