April 4, 2019
This is from Attire Allowance, which begins on page 32
“She must have liked you better than you think.” Kathy’s voice was brisk. “Because Condé Nast just called to make an offer. Do you want to hear the terms?”
Two minutes later I hung up in a daze. All around me the newsroom buzzed, familiar, cheerfully distracting. My fingers shook as I dialed to cancel the reservation at Les Celebrites, the fancy new restaurant I was supposed to be reviewing; Michael and I could not possibly discuss this in the middle of a packed room, where we could be overheard. Then, still dizzy, I turned off my computer and picked up my purse.
I considered dinner as I rode the subway. I’d stop at Citarella to buy some shrimp, make that Marcella Hazan pasta Nick and Michael liked so much. I’d get a bottle of wine. A bunch of flowers. Bake brownies.
At home I stood in the kitchen, mind spinning as I stripped shells from the shrimp. In the living room Nick and his friend Zack were doing math homework. The murmur of their voices made this seem like any other day.
“You boys hungry?”
After years of insisting on five white foods, my son’s appetites had abruptly changed; he was now on the constant prowl for interesting snacks. “Any more of those deviled eggs?” he shouted back.
I put the eggs on a plate and carried them into the living room; they were slightly smashed, which gave them a rakish air, but the boys didn’t seem to mind. I’d finished cleaning the shrimp by the time Michael walked in, but I was still at the sink, my hands beneath the running water.
Celebration Shrimp Pasta (adapted from Marcella Hazan)
1 pound medium-sized wild shrimp in the shell
1/4 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 cups cream
salt and pepper
Shell the shrimp, rinse them well and dry them completely with paper towels.
Put the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or so, until sends its fragrance into the air. Stir the tomato paste into the wine and add it, very carefully to the pan. Cook for about ten minutes, stirring from time to time.
Add the shrimp, salt and pepper and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring, just until the shrimp turn pink and lose their translucence. Take the pan off the stove.
Remove all the shrimp from the pan. Put half of them into a food processor, puree them and add them back to the pan. Cut the remaining shrimp into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
Add the cream to the pureed shrimp and cook, stirring for a minute or so, until the cream warms and the sauce thickens. Taste for seasoning. Add the remaining shrimp, quickly toss with a pound of cooked spaghetti and serve to 4 people.
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