Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Business Dinner

It's a common theme: Wife stays home, bathing, feeding, scolding the children. Husband is off on business trip 'entertaining' clients (I love that-- does it involve juggling? Making balloon animals?).

Some of my friends who's husband's jobs involve 'entertaining' clients, hate to hear about the fabulous meals their spouses enjoyed, while they were eating cold chicken nuggets left over on their children's dinner plates. I have always felt the opposite way-- If he's got to be out, away from the family, I hope that he gets to eat a lavish meal-- that way, at least one of us does. As long as I get the full accounting of what was consumed, I am content to eat vicariously through him.

The truth is, most dinners my husband gets when he is out of town are not so fabulous; they are late, often in airports and almost always bad. It is only on occasion that he gets a meal worth remembering.

Yesterday, the Mister called and said that he had to leave for the airport at 5:30 that evening. He would swing by the house at 5-- could I please have something for him to eat before he took off? The kids and I were going to have left-over potato and leek soup from the night before so I hadn't gone out ot the market to get proper dinner food. I was in a bit of a pickle.

After rummaging through the cupboards, I came up with what turned out to be a really nice pasta dish. Very flavourful, very fast and simple; made from ingredients most of us keep on hand.

He said it was one of the best business dinners he had ever had.

Business Dinner Pasta
The lemon juice off-sets the richness of the anchovy without being sour-- it is a nice combination.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 anchovy fillets
Big pinch of chilli pepper flakes
2 plump cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thin
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
Parmesan cheese
8 ounces pasta

1) Get the pasta cooking. In a separate sauté pan, pour the oil and set over medium heat. When the oil is hot and looks as if it quivering, add in the whole anchovy fillets and swirl the pan—they will disintegrate within a minute or two. Now add in the red pepper flakes and garlic and swirl until you can smell the garlic and it is golden.

2) Remove sauté pan from the heat and swirl in lemon juice. Taste and season if needed. Ladle a ½ cup of pasta cooking water out of the pot and set aside, then drain the pasta. Toss the pasta with the anchovy sauce and the reserved cooking water all together with the parsley in a big bowl. Serve with Parmesan cheese or homemade toasted breadcrumbs.

Serves 2-4

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