Boys. This one is for you.
You need a little help in the Hot date/Dinner department, I know, it’s going to be alright. Just listen. Most of my friends are boys - admittedly this may be because I am always in need of a taste tester. (But I still tell myself it is because I am witty and pretty and smart.) I also have about five hundred boy cousins, so surprisingly; I am an expert in the bachelor refrigerator.
Yup, I know what’s in there. Condiments, lots of them, in bottles or tiny fast food packets. Eggs, beer and orange juice too, extra pulp. Leftover enchiladas? How long ago did you make those?? Gross. Throw them away!!
If you have anything beyond that, you’re a catch, call me.
I have this theory that if you ask a boy what is the best dish that he cooks, the answer is going to be either pancakes or spaghetti. I can’t explain this phenomenon but it is true. It might just be a theory, but hey, so is gravity. I’d put money on it. You guys love it! Boil water. Pasta. Done. Then there is the whole “taste this, tell me what it needs” wooden spoon – leaning over the red sauce business. Hhhmmm… thoughtful upward glance - tastes like Prego with about a pound of ground beef, someone’s tiny Italian grandma taught you her secret recipe? How sweet… cough cough… I’m impressed Cassanova, really. How long have you been simmering that?
Spaghetti is the draw. The pancakes are for hope. Next morning hope, this spaghetti better do the trick hope, romantic comedy hope. Oh no! Did I just blow your cover? Well… You’re welcome.
One day you’ll thank me, probably the day you meet that girl. You know that girl, the one with the eyes, those legs… You’re going to have to do something to impress her. Yes - I’m talking about dinner. No - I’m not talking about Marinara, Bologenese or Puttanesca. Do something original! She’s special! This is getting serious.
Follow these instructions and put your heart into it. It will be amazing. Promise.
Put a sauce pan over medium/high heat and fry two slices of bacon, that have been chopped into very small pieces, until browned. Remove the bacon bits and place on a paper towel to crisp. Turn the heat down to a low medium and add ½ a shallot and 2 cloves garlic diced to the bacon grease and saute. After a few minutes add 1 ½ cups of Half/Half and 2 TB butter. Let simmer. Salt and Pepper. Add ½ Cup of grated Parmesan Cheese. Chop 1 cup of walnuts as small as you can, add ¾ to the sauce and keep the biggest chunks (about ¼ cup) for the topping.
Boil noodles in salted water for nine minutes. Add the noodles and ½ cup of the water to the sauce and stir to combine. Simmer on low for 2 or 3 minutes.
Plate and top with remaining chopped walnuts, chopped sage and a few table spoons of breadcrumbs.
The walnuts will thicken the sauce to an absolutely divine creamy consistency. The sage and bacon add a smoky earthy dimension that would any girl feel like a woman. Plus twirling spaghetti on a fork is just plain sexy. This is a dish that can stand on its own or can be served with a tasty white fish, some bitter greens and full bodied red wine.
Light a candle, floss, put on some Maxwell. She doesn’t stand a chance. Don’t forget the dessert!
Another secret about girls – we like vegetables and we’re probably on a diet. We love to eat but want you to think we survive on peaches, sparkling water and the occasional soy latte. Force us to eat dessert, we’ll love you for it.
Seriously, I love you, I want you to succeed. I want this dinner to sweep her off her feet. Questions? I’ll be covert, you take all the credit, she won’t know you had a little help.