In late October I went to a benefit performance for the Abingdon Theatre Company. They made a very apropos choice of script: The War of the Worlds. The script is very good and the performers were wonderful, but what was most enjoyable were the musical interludes. Or rather, I enjoyed the way that as the fictional catastrophe unfolded, our radio hosts would promise to get back to us with news, but meanwhile, enjoy the orchestra. Then a lavishly costumed chanteuse would stalk onstage in killer heels to the audience’s laughter and sing a 1930s standard.
This terrifying election season keeps rolling, and every now and then I take a break from staring at the trainwreck to see a show. I enjoy the interlude. I come out of the theater. The wreck of the world is still there.
The election will pass. We will descend into anarchy--or not. Thanksgiving is coming regardless. I’m not prepared to include a classy musical interlude or steamy torch song here for you. So here’s a recipe:
Comforting, Non-Scary, Pumpkin Pasta
- Can of pumpkin puree (plain, not pie filling!)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fennel bulb
- Medium onion
- Sage (dried or fresh)
- Fusilli pasta (whole wheat is very good with this recipe)
- Ricotta cheese (optional)
- Grated parmesan
Start heating a vat of water and salt it well. Thinly slice the fennel bulb and the onion. Take your time to cook them in olive oil until onion is completely soft. (If you’ve got time, you can go all the way to carmelized.) Add sage and a sprinkle of salt and stir. Add the pumpkin puree, more salt, and a good grind of fresh pepper, and mix. Keep the heat medium-low and don’t let the pumpkin burn while you boil the pasta. Before draining, scoop out half a cup of starchy pasta water. Drizzle a bit into the pumpkin mixture to thin it and taste for salt & pepper. After draining the pasta, toss with the pumpkin sauce, thinning with more pasta water if necessary. Serve with a dollop of ricotta, another grind of pepper, and parmesan cheese. And wine. Both red and white taste good with this.
(I measure nothing. Sorry. Italian-American cook here.)
Keep writing plays. Invite me to see them. I will wear killer heels to stalk into your venue. I might even sing.