Follow the Rules

While I am in Israel, my dear friend Emily Foster is treating you to a guest post! She's a professional writer and television producer in Los Angeles, as well as an up and coming voice over talent. 

   Image: http://www.thekitchn.com/

Image: http://www.thekitchn.com/

I’ve always been a follow the rules kind of girl. I like guidelines, maps and directions. I don’t go barefoot and I never wear sweatpants out of the house. Ever. Sometimes I turn on the GPS even when I know exactly where I’m going. The voice is equal parts soothing and irritating, but it always makes me laugh when she mispronounces street names. I guess nobody’s perfect.

And dating? Yes, I also love the rules. Never be the first to reach out, don’t be too available, and even if I don’t want to, definitely go on the second date. Stupid as it may seem, the rules saved me from the awful chaos of dating in New York City. And just as I reached the end of my rope and decided to move to Los Angeles … there he was on a rooftop in Brooklyn holding a bowl of pasta.

He was amazing but nothing like I expected. The images of my husband on my vision board were not exactly as covered in skull tattoos. And he wasn’t gazing at me over the handlebars of a motorcycle either. But, all of the other (arguably more important?) qualities were there. I fell head over heels in love with an extremely considerate rebel, who loves to take care of me and generally doesn’t really like the idea of being told what to do.

He is however a delightful creature of habit. He’s an early to bed and early to rise kind of guy. He ritually loves to change his own oil at 30,000 miles (I didn’t even know that it was something a non-trained professional was able to do) and he loves his two eggs, one egg white shitake mushroom omelet with a side of braised greens for breakfast.

As a former chef, his skills were totally intimidating for me when we started dating. He knows that you should roast brussel sprouts cut side down because it keeps them moister. He knows how to waltz in, throw in a spice, add a bit of this and suddenly make everything taste better. Do you know about brown butter sage sauce? I didn’t. And I’m not sure I was fully alive before.

After years of living off carryout and booze in Brooklyn, my idea of cooking was mixing together Siracha and ketchup to “spice up” my late night fries. And when I do cook, I can’t say that I get very creative. I’m sure it’s no surprise; I’m a follow the recipe kind of girl.  So the first time I woke in the morning to one of those fantastic omelets with my name on it I was both intimidated and grateful.

Never in my wildest dreams did love have anything to do with eggs, but in truth for me, they are closely related. Recently I’ve learned that one of the best way to show someone you care is to cook for them. Cooking is real love. It’s nourishment. It’s soul. And it’s one of my favorite ways to be cared for. So here’s a recipe from my dream man and what he made on our friend’s rooftop the first night we met.

And when I cook? My new rule is it doesn’t have to be fancy, or perfect. Cause it’s a full bowl of love.

PENNE BROWN BUTTER SAGE SAUCE:

 -Penne Dried Pasta (1/2 box)

-15 Fresh Sage leaves

-1/2 Stick Salted Butter

-1/4 cup fresh EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

-Kosher Salt (To Taste) 

Bring a large (stock) pot of WELL SALTED water to a boil. You should be able to taste the salt in the water.

Then take a small sauce pan and put about 1/2 stick of salted butter in the pan. The heat under the pan should be low. The goal is to gently begin to cook the butter, making brown butter. (This is easier said than done because the butter goes from having no brown to being burned very quickly.) As soon as the butter has melted in the saucepan add 15 sage leaves ripped by hand into maybe 1/2" x leave width pieces. 

Stir the leaves into the butter and keep a close eye on the butter. As soon as you see a little bit of browning in the butter, add 1/4C of fresh EVOO. This slows down the browning. Then stir that mixture up and taste it, then add kosher salt, stirring and tasting until is super delicious.

When the EVOO is added to the butter is a good time to start cooking the penne. Cook it slightly past al dente. Strain the pasta and quickly place back into the pot so some of the water is effectively reserved. 

Serve pasta in bowls, spooning the sauce generously over the top of the serving. Feel free to add sausage.

For extra love, click here: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-pasta-with-brown-butter-72303