Thursday, June 30, 2011


OK...I admit I spend a lot of time in the studio reading, listening to music, and "resting" my eyes, all very important endeavors that allow me to stay fresh and on the cutting edge. Or at least an edge, even if it is a little dull. But I DO make time for painting, and offer as proof this latest piece in the series. With each one the horizon become less and less distinct, so why not get rid of it completely? Because I remain committed to creating a sense of place, and the horizon, however faint it may be, does that. Without it, the canvas becomes a mediocre abstraction.

Acrylic on canvas..24x30

Patience and I have been invited out to dinner tonight so the next pasta quest post will be tomorrow evening.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Sea scallops, asparagus, and potatoes over Angel hair pasta

I spent 2 days thinking about this dish and how I would do it. My original plan called for small croutons, but Patience suggested I use the potatoes from our CSA Amish friends. It was an inspired idea.


Angel Hair pasta
Sea Scallops
Potatoes, diced into 1/3 inch cubes
Olive oil, butter, lemon juice
Kohl Rabi finely sliced
Fresh Basil and Oregano
Lemon Juice


Heat the olive oil with the garlic and add the potatoes, cook until the potatoes are crisp and brown. Remove and drain on paper towels and discard the garlic. Add butter and wine to the pan and cook the Asparagus (cut into 1’’ pieces”) until al dente, and remove and set aside. Peel the Kohl Rabi and slice into thin pieces and toast in the oil. Remove and set aside. Add more butter and olive oil if needed and sauté the scallops with the fresh herbs until golden brown and remove.

When the pasta is done drain and add to the serving dish. Add all of the ingredients plus the remnants of the oil and butter in the pan, drizzle with fresh lemon juice, and serve.


This was a bit labor intensive, but was really good. I think linguine or penne pasta would also work well with this dish. A splash of white wine somewhere in the process might be interesting.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


After several weeks of inertia in the studio I've finally found my way back to the easel. I'm still fascinated by this series of landscapes of skies of my own design (I like that title), also known as my paper towel paintings because of the technique of blotting with paper towels.

Summer Sky...acrylic...18x24

So far there are 10 in the series, with at least one or two more planned. In each one the palette is limited to 3 hues plus Titanium white.

Monday, June 27, 2011


I knew what I wanted to do the moment I saw the butternut squash at the farmers market; it just took me a week to get to it. This was inspired by Bolognese cooking which specializes in stuffed pasta (tortollini and tortolloni ) with rich butter/cream sauces.


Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into small pieces
3-4 fresh mint leaves chopped
Mascarpone cheese
Parmesan cheese
Cheese ravioli
Salt and pepper


Peel, cut, remove seed and stringy “stuff” from the squash, and cut into 1’ pieces. While waiting for the pasta water to boil place squash in food processor, add cream, butter mint, and parmesan cheese and puree to creamy finish. Move to sauce pan and heat. Stir frequently and add about 2 tblespoon of mascarpone cheese.

Cover the ravioli with the sauce and add more grated cheese to taste.


This is relatively labor intensive, but worth the effort. I’m anxious to do it again, substituting sage for the mint.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


It’s time to work on the freezer where there are now several containers of frozen “Sunday gravy”. I try to only cook enough for Patience and myself, but making the rich, meat-laden sauce on Sundays always produces enough for at least two meals, and sometimes three.

Tonight’s sauce, posted to the blog on the 8th of May, was made with San Marzano tomatoes and chicken thighs.

Pasta transports me back to my mother’s kitchen…Fresh Beets and their greens does the same for Patience. These came in our weekly veggie box from the Amish farm.

Tomorrow I'll return with a new pasta dish.


Our closest neighbors were the Sicilianos, their small crop farm was literally across the road from us. Aunt Rose and uncle Gus had 10 children, the oldest ones were my father’s contemporaries and classmates, and the younger ones mine. Their small farmhouse where I was treated as a member of the family was like a second home to me as a young boy. The kitchen was dominated by a table capable of seating most, if not all of the family. A small alcove near the stove with a pantry that had a slide out counter was where Eddie (the youngest member of the family and 2 or 3 years younger than me) and I would sit whenever I had dinner there.

To me aunt Rose was the central figure in the family. She was small and wiry, always working, and never afraid to speak her mind, giving everyone a name; mine was Duke Whittington, Lord Mayor of London. I have absolutely no idea where that came from. I can still hear her call someone a “lousy bastard”, but with a smile in her voice.

Her hair was always up in a tight bun, and I remember the day I saw her standing at the kitchen sink (before they had an indoor bathroom) washing her hair…It was the first time I saw it down…reaching her lower back. I was shocked! In the summer after the tomatoes were picked she would make her own ketchup and sauce for canning, cooking them in a large cast iron pot over a fire in the back yard. She was a remarkable woman; after leaving for college I made it a point to visit her as often as possible when I returned home.

Much later, reading from my late uncles papers, I learned that long before I came along she was a stand-in mother to my father’s sisters after my grandmother died. They turned to her for all that my grandfather was unable to provide. Aunt Rose was a most remarkable woman, who provided so much for so many.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Sausage, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, arugula. June 25

Patience is working today which means we won’t be eating until at least 8 PM. This gives me plenty of time to come up with something. I have some Portabello mushrooms plus some loose sausage that should be used soon so I’m thinking…the mushrooms and sausage with a loose tomato sauce; maybe diced tomatoes with the last of the Arugula.


Portabello mushrooms
Diced tomatoes
Olive oil
Garlic, fresh basil and oregano, and green onion
Arugula, coarsely chopped


Brown the sausage, remove, and deglaze the pan with red wine. Cook garlic and onion in olive oil, add the mushrooms and cook for about 7 -10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and herbs and cook. Mix in the arugula just before the pasta is finished. Add the pasta to the pan and mix thoroughly and serve.


I realize my credibility is shot to hell…I like everything I cook! Tonight was no exception. This is a delicious, quick, and simple dish, worth all the time it doesn’t take to prepare it. You and your guests will go back for seconds and thirds!


I cannot recall what triggered this memory, which goes back to early years, probably age 7, 8 or so. The dark green paneled bakery truck, driven by Frank Pulmonari, would drive up to the back door of the house, and I would run outside to greet it with my mom. He would open the back doors, exposing the floured finished wooden platform, covered with freshly baked loves of aromatic Italian bread. There was no “American bread “(sliced white bread), If you wanted that, you had to go to the grocery store. I recall that wonderful bread wistfully; wishing I could relive that experience, but back then it was not the bread that interested me. eyes were on the large drawers that shared the space beneath the platform and the floor of the truck, more specifically, the drawer on the left side. It was this drawer that, when pulled open, revealed those absolutely wonderful doughnuts. Thick, soft doughnuts covered with powdery sugar and filled with the most delicious jelly and cream that was ever made by anyone, anywhere. I would look at my mother with pleading eyes, and if I was lucky, she would nod to the driver and we would fill a bag with a selection of the those powdery treasures.

I don’t remember when the truck stopped coming by. Several years later Frank Pulmonari was shot and killed by a deranged family member, along with several other members of the family. That was BIG news for our little town.

I like Dunkin Doughnuts, in fact there are very few doughnuts that I don’t like. But if I had a choice....oh how I would love to see those doors open and that big drawer pulled out before me.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Farfalle wirh sausage, Cannellini beans, and zucchini. 6-24


Farfalle (bowties)
One zucchini cut into small pieces
Fresh Basil and Thyme
Italian sausage…out of the casing
One can of Cannellini beans
Red pepper flakes
Garlic, olive oil, and green onion


Brown the sausage and remove. Saute the garlic and green onion with red pepper flakes, then add the beans and cook for about 5 minutes before adding the Basil and the sausage and simmer.

Add the pasta when it is ready, mix, and serve. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.


I don’t know it it is the sausage, the beans, ot the combination of the two, but this dish has a low brow, peasant, soul food kind of feeling and taste to me. Patience says it’s all in my head. Whatever….it is delicious! And it it so easy to prepare. It doesn’t take much of an imagination to come up with a number of variations and possibilities for this meal.

FYI...this is the 35th pasta dish I've prepared since we started in the beginning of May. There are still so many more dishes to explore!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Paul and Louis will join us for dinner tonight. They are great dinner guests and we always enjoy ourselves when they are here. Tonight I will try a variation of Pasta putanesca…(pasta of the whores). Unlike the traditional dish, the ingredients will remain uncooked (crudo).


Diced tomatoes
Kalamata olives, about ½ to 2/3 of a cup, coarsely chopped
Anchovie fillets, 2-3
Capers, 1 -2 teaspoons, rinsed
3-4 fresh basil leaves coarsely chopped
Arugula, coarsely chopped
Olive oil
Garlic, 1 large or 2 smaller cloves passed through a garlic press
Red pepper flakes


Mince the anchovies and mix well with the pressed garlic in a teaspoon of water and set aside. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowel and allow to sit for 1-2 hours.

Drain the pasta and place in serving bowl, preserving some of the pasta water. Add the tomato mixture and mix well.


Everyone except Patience had seconds so I consider the dish an unqualified success. Quoting Paul…”the mixture of subtle flavors suddenly explodes in your mouth” It was very, very good, as was the entire evening. So good that I forgot to take the photos I had planned. (I don’t know if it was the wine, the after dinner digestivas, or all the laughing…probably a bit of everything. the last minute I decided to saute the garlic and anchovies before adding them to the mixture.

The remains of a delightful evening.


That was me…I was the little bastard. Let me explain…

From kindergarten through high school my best friend was Richie Genoni. We were Richie and Billy, Rich or Richard, and Bill came much later. Richie and his family lived on his grandfather’s farm about a quarter mile up the road from ours, and directly on the way to school, so we shared part of the daily walk to and from school until middle school (Junior High in those days), and a bus ride for the next 3 years. Our educational careers diverged in high school when he went to the area’s catholic school, but our friendship persisted.

Richie was an athlete, and was active in baseball and basketball in high school and in the local Babe Ruth league. For those of you who know me, this may be hard to believe, but I was not an athlete, and my participation in scholastic sports consisted of 2 years of basketball in Jr. High. Richie was a varsity starter while I was JV or second/third team varsity. Although I did win a varsity game once with a tremendous basket as the buzzer sounded, but that’s another story. Like most athletes, Richie was very competitive, while I was not. When he played, it was to win, when I played it was to have fun. And we played…especially basketball, since we both had a basket set up in our yards…usually 0-U-T or H-O-R-S-E. Now on an even playing field I was no match for Richie…he was taller, more athletic, and had a better jump shot than me…but I had one thing in my favor…laughter. I could make him laugh whenever I wanted to, and of course I wanted to when he was ready to take his shot. And hence the name calling as between fits of laughter he managed to yell…”you little bastard”. There were occasions when my victories where the result of pure skill, or more likely, pure luck, when I made some incredibly difficult shot that he could not duplicate. When that happened “you little bastard” lost much of its affection.

He was a good friend.

Richie and me

Measles and me...
In my Jr. year in HS I came down with the measles. My friends quickly gathered around me hoping that they would get infected and have to stay home from shcool.

from left to righ: Richie Genoni, a very debonair yours truly, Dukie Tromello, and Billy Mattioli.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


The organic veggies from the Amish farm are accumulating in the refrigerator faster than I can use them…at least it seems that way. This week's box contained, among other things, two heads of broccoli and several large bunches of beets, as well as green onions. Last night I used the green beans and some of the potatoes. Tonight I’ll tackle the broccoli. I’m not sure what I’ll do with the beets. Several years ago I prepared a pasta dish with beets…I don’t remember what I did but do remember how the pasta took on the deep scarlet color of the beets. It looked a little strange.

Broccoli, smoked salmon in obscene cream sauce


Farfalle pasta
2-3 Slices of smoked salmon cut into small pieces
Broccoli florets
Shallots, garlic
Fresh chopped basil, parsley, and Thyme
White wine…dry
Butter, heavy whipping cream
Mascarpone (about 2-3 tablespoons) and blue cheese (about 1 teaspoon)
Red pepper flakes


While the pasta cooks, sauté the garlic and shallots then add the broccoli and smoked Salmon, herbs plus a splash of white wine. Cook for 5-7 minutes then add butter and blue cheese. When this melts begin adding the cream and the mascarpone. It’s at this point when all directions breakdown. I add the stuff by intuition, maybe more, maybe less; you have to judge for yourself. I don’t think there is a “correct” amount. I even added a teaspoon of cornstarch, which I got all over my blue shirt, to thicken the sauce.

Toss the pasta in the pan, mix thoroughly, and enjoy…we certainly did.


I’ve said it all, but be forewarned…it will be easy to overindulge!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Last night’s dinner was the 31st pasta dish I’ve prepared since starting this venture last month. Although the ingredients have repeated themselves, with the exception of the “Sunday gravys”, each meal has been unique. The hot and humid conditions we are currently experiencing has me focused on summer dishes that require less cooking.

I planned on a variation of the classic Pasta Putanesca, but when I picked up our weekly veggies from the Amish farmers today there were green beans and small potatoes, as well as beets (Patience’s favorite), green onions, and broccoli. Since we still had potatoes from last week I postponed the pasta putanesca….I like the way that sounds…and will go with the green beans and potatoes in a loose tomato sauce.


Green beans
New potatoes
Diced tomatoes
Bacon cut into small pieces
Garlic, green onions
Fresh basil and parsley


Parboil the potatoes and green beans, remove and set aside to cool. Cut the potatoes into small dice size pieces and the green beans into 1-2 inch pieces.

Cook the bacon, remove to paper towel to drain, discard the bacon fat, and cook the potatoes until they are browned. Remove and set aside. Add olive oil, garlic and onions to the pan and cook until soft. Add the tomatoes and the green beans and cook for about 5-7 minutes then add the potatoes and simmer.

The timing is not absolute! It should be adjusted according to how well done the potatoes and green beans are before adding them to the sauce.


I confess….I had my doubts about this…but they proved to be unfounded. The combination was wonderful, and the fresh green beans and potatoes made this a memorable dish. My mother used to serve us green beans and potatoes in a loose tomato sauce, but not with pasta.

Monday, June 20, 2011


It was too hot to use more than one burner on the stove today, and that one is reserved for the pasta pot. A quick look in the fridge for “must be used soon” ingredients revealed Asparagus and Arugula. Since the Asparagus can be prepared in the microwave, and the Arugula doesn’t need cooking, I realized I could come up with a summer dish with just a few additions, and not have to use a second burner on the stove.



Medium Shell pasta
Asparagus, cooked al dente
Small cooked Shrimp w shell of and tails removed, chopped (25-30
Grape tomatoes halved…about ¾ cup
Arugula, chopped
Fresh lemon juice
Garlic, finely chopped
Fresh basil, thyme, and oregano, chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Nuke the asparagus for 2-3 minutes then cut into 1’ pieces. Mix all the ingredients in a bowel and allow to sit at room temperature for about an hour. Place the cooked and drained pasta in a serving bowel and mix in the “sauce” and serve.


I don't know what I enjoyed more, the thinking about how to do this, or eating it. Both have given me much pleasure. Obviously there is a lot of room for variations, depending on what is in your fridge!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Linguine w crab sauce.


San Marzano tomatoes…28 oz. can
Garlic, onions, olive oil
Ancohvies…3 chopped fillets
Basil, Red pepper flakes, oregano
Rock crab sections


Sauté garlic, onion, and anchovies, along with the red pepper flakes in olive oil. And the tomatoes and spices, and cook for 4-5 minutes then add the crab sections, cover and simmer for 2-3 hours.


Living in New Jersey and Maryland meant fresh crabs were readily available during the crabbing season, and my mother would make the most awesome gravy with them. It takes little effort to remember the delightful fragrance of the pot of gravy cooking on the stove…an incredible treat for everyone fortunate enough to share that meal. A few days ago I discovered a package of cooked Rock crab sections in our local Kroger market and I knew in a moment what I had to do. I had no expectations of duplicating mom’s gravy, but I hoped I would be able to create at least bit of the aroma and taste that I miss so much.

Postprandial…we both felt this was special, even though the crabs were less than what we’ve been used to. BUT…that is not a complaint, and we are grateful to Kroger for making them available to us. We will definitely do this again.

A warning…eating the crabs is a very messy affair


Just as it did yesterday, this morning began with a bang…the booming of thunder accompanied by heavy rain…sometime between 4 and 5 AM. In our household this means our day starts with a struggle to convince a few pampered whippets that peeing in the rain is no big deal. Of course to them it is, and the bathroom floor is much preferable to the soggy yard. Fortunately we got through the morning without incident, and now that the sun is making an appearance all is well in this household.

Regarding the Pasta marathon…it is still going strong, and on the days when nothing is posted it means we were not dinning at home that evening, as it was last night. We will be eating at home tonight, and I hope to make this Sunday’s gravy a little special.

It’s Father’s Day, and I will keep my father front and center in my mind all day. Mostly I will remind myself of how hard he worked to see that I had the opportunities that he never had, and will pay homage to him as I do every day with a glass of red wine with lunch in one of his small juice glasses, as well as sitting down to a dish of pasta, something he dearly loved.

I have no idea where the fancy cloths came from, probably the photographer.

I love these photos. I wonder what it would be like to know our parents before they were our parents.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


It has been one year since I returned from my month in Italy and for most of that year my efforts in the studio have been directed to mining the resources from that trip for my art and writing. My first priority was creating the paintings and drawings for last fall’s show…From Italy with Love…as well as fulfilling my commitments to those of you who responded to my offer to buy “art futures”. Using the resources of Apple’s iPhoto I created two books, one depicting all of the artwork in the Gallery 5 exhibit, and the other containing the drawings from my sketchbook.

After that I turned my attention to the task of creating an illustrated journal of my experiences in Italy. It is a day to day accounting of the trip using excerpts from the daily journal I kept and posts from my blog,, as well as additional narrative. The book is lavishly illustrated with photos and artwork and is now available in hardcover with wrap around dust jacket. It has 96 pages and measures 11x13 inches.

BOLOGNA….price $110.00 incl. S&H

FROM ITALY WITH LOVE…hardcover w jacket…9x11……42 pages….price $80.00 plus $5.00 S&H

FROM ITALY WITH LOVE… spiral bound …6x8…$35.00 plus $5.00 S&H.

SKETCHES FROM ITALY… spiral bound ….9X11…42 pages/61 drawings…$60.00 plus $5.00 S&H

These books may be ordered from my website, from me at Gallery 5, or by emailing me at Allow 3=4 weeks for delivery.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Pasta w Bok Choy pesto


Angel Hair pasta
Bok Choy w leaves removed from stems and roughly chopped
Pine nuts
Lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
Asiago cheese grated
Basil leaves
Olive oil
Salt and black peppers
Prosciutto, chopped


Add the Bok Choy, cheese, garlic,Lemon juice and basil to food processor and puree while adding the olive oil to produce a creamy mixture. Salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the pasta as directed, drain and place in serving bowel and mix in the pesto and serve. Scatter the prosciutto over the individual servings along with Parmesan cheese


This weeks box of goodies from the Amish folks had a large head of Bok Choy cabbage that I had to use. I had some serious doubts as prepared the pesto…kinda made it up as I went along. At first I was not happy with the results, so I added a small amount of basil and garlic and this did the trick. The prosciutto added a great touch to the final taste. P and I both liked the flavor…not as harsh, or as P said, obnoxious, as basil pesto. This is a great way to use Bok Choy.

This would also go well with linguine.


Yesterday I described my delightful encounter with Sam, my first college roommate, at our 50th class reunion. I must admit to being surprised at the genuine affection that encounter engendered for someone I had not seen for over 50 years, especially since we were not close friends during our college days. I’ve been trying to understand this phenomenon ever since, and have decided that it represents one way in which time manifests itself.

Time has the effect of focusing our attention on the essential rather than the non-essential. Looking backwards into our lives the unimportant and frivolous, seem to fall away, allowing us to see or remember what we may have failed to see or have forgotten. At 72, I have much more respect and admiration for some of the very traits that I tended to avoid or dismiss at 19. My first experience with this phenomenon occurred with my father. As a young man he had habits and ideas that I could not tolerate, but later in our lifetimes, and even more so after his death, they simply disappeared from my mind. (I think it was Mark Twain who said, “when I was 17 I thought my father was really stupid, and at 21 I was amazed how much he learned in 4 years!”

In Sam’s case we share a common past and have both experienced the joys and difficulties of medical school and post-graduate training so I can appreciate the commitment he has made to the profession. Coming from my own-checkered career I am impressed with his achievements and the fact that he is still practicing medicine full time.

Tonight at dinner I will raise my glass of wine in a quiet toast to Sam.

Dad, when he didn't know so much (I thought.)

Dad with all of his acquired wisdom.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Last week I attended my 50th college class reunion.


I saw him walking with his wife about 30 yards away, making their way to the registration tent. I couldn’t make out the faces but knew in an instant that it was my old roommate. Sam is about 6 feet tall, and his gait and posture are distinct enough for me to recognize them after 50 years. He holds himself very erect, with his head high, but not too high, and his gait is measured but sure, with arms held quietly by his side. As soon as he recognized me a shy smile came to his face, which radiates quiet authority and competence rendered totally disarming by a veil of shyness.

Sam and I shared a room with 2 other men in our sophomore year at college. We were both pre-med students and although we went our different ways socially we shared a lot of the same classes. While I was rather outgoing, Sam was quiet and reserved. Sam was also brilliant; I don’t know this for a fact but would venture to say that he never got anything less than an A in anything he did.

We had no contact after graduation even though we both went to medical schools in Philadelphia (as did another of our roommates from that school year.) I knew he specialized in cardiology but did not know he has been practicing in the Boston area for all of these years.

I don’t know if was our shared profession, or the fact that he was one of the first of my associates at college (I transferred to LVC in my sophomore year), but I was absolutely delighted to see him after all these years. I enjoyed meeting his wife and hearing about his family. I know he must be an outstanding cardiologist, and I admire and respect his accomplishments. I could not help thinking…I wish I had made an effort to stay in touch with him…we may not have become “buddies”, but I think I would have enjoyed the relationship.

Sam made the reunion a worthwhile experience for me.

My experience with Sam has set off a cascade of thoughts about time and relationships that I hope to explore in future posts.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Farfalle with zucchini, tomatoes, and a bunch of good stuff


Olive oil
Anchovies, 2 fillets finely chopped
Zucchini, cut into small pieces
Green onions
Fresh oregano and basil
Lemon juice
Sweet Vermouth
Red pepper flakes
Grape tomatoes, halved
Tomato paste, 1 tsp


Saute the garlic, onions, anchovies, red pepper flakes, and tomato paste until soft. Add the zucchini, lemon juice, and herbs and cook for 4-5 minutes then add the sweet Vermouth and the grape tomatoes, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Add the pasta when cooked, along with some of the past water, mix and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil before serving.


I’ve served pasta with zucchini a number of different ways, but this is my favorite. I think the achovies and sweet vermouth gives this dish a distinct flavor.


To my blog friends...please indulge me while I blow off a bit of steam...

Our country's economy is in shreds, and America as we know it is at the risk of imploding. On one side of the isle there is a cry for slashing spending, and on the other side, a call for raising taxes. Now it doesn't take a genius to see a very simple solution...COMPROMISE...cut spending and raise taxes. Unfortunately that won't happen because we have politicians who are more interested in "serving their base", which translates to saving their political asses. It is not about what is best for our country, but what is best for our party.

I'm sure there are some brilliant minds in Washington; sadly, they are not in congress. Our politicians do not serve us...they serve special interests...and I'm referring to both sides of the isles. Anyone unwilling to compromise does not belong in politics.

OK...I'm done. Now, on a lighter note, this is how I used last night's leftover sauce.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Wild mushroom ravioli in light tomato/mint sauce


Buitoni wild mushroom ravioli
Diced tomatoes
Heavy cream
3-4 fresh mint leaves’
Sweet vermouth
Red pepper flakes, salt, pepper


Saute garlic in olive oil, add the diced tomatoes, salt to taste, and red pepper, and cook for about 10 minutes. Add ¼ cup of sweet vermouth and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped mint leaves and cream and transfer to blender or food processer and blend to creamy consistency.

Cook the pasta as directed, place on serving plates and add the sauce plus grated cheese.


This was a good as I hoped it would be. I have some sauce left over and now have to come up with another way to use it….Maybe with one or two fried eggs for breakfast.

Chief critic and fan of La Cucina Renzulli at work.

Monday, June 13, 2011


It feels good to be back in the kitchen planning another pasta dinner. I scrounged around in a nearly empty fridge and found some arugula and old Ciabatta buns…with a little olive oil, garlic, and lemon that should be enough for dinner (I hope!)

Here’s the plan, really quite simple:

Before cooking the pasta, either Capellini or Linguine, I will grate the bread to create about ¼ cup of crumbs and chop 2-3 cups of the Arugula and set both aside. While the pasta cooks I’ll sauté the finely sliced garlic in the olive oil along with 3 Anchovie fillets, mashing them with a fork while they cook. If I don’t
forget I’ll add the juice from half a lemon later in the cooking process.

The cooked pasta goes in a serving bowl and is tossed the oil-garlic-anchovy mixture and the Arugula, plus a bit of the pasta water as needed. Some additional olive oil will be drizzled on the dish followed by the breadcrumbs.

I’m writing this out before hand, rather than after the fact, so things are a bit out of the usual order.


Bread crumbs…toasting them is an option
Olive oil
Fresh lemon juice


I was concerned about this...not sure how it would turn out, but to my great delight it was quite good. Patience worked extra late tonight and at her urging I did not wait for her. When she got home I warmed up some of the pasta and she really liked it. For those who hate anchovies...she could not tell they were there. But they were, giving a very deep, robust flavor to the sauce. Not at all "fishy".

I don't know that the Arugula is needed...I think it would be fine on its own.

I don't know what to call this...I know anything with Anchovies in the name will keep many people away...perhaps Capellini (Angel hair) with mystery sauce and Arugula.


Given the recent weather this seemed to be an appropriate photo to use.

Nine years ago this month Patience and nine whippets moved to Paducah, taking up residence in what is now my studio while work on the house was being completed. (I will not presume to be able to adequately describe her experience.) I arrived in August after closing out our medical practice. Paducah quickly became home for us, and over the past nine years in all of my trips to visit family and friends in Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania I found myself anxious to get back to the comforts of my home in Paducah’s Lowertown. OK…on my 30 day trip to Italy I didn’t get homesick until day 27…but hey…it was Italy!

My trip was wonderful. I visited my two daughters, sons in law, and 4 grandchildren, as well as cousins and dear friends, each visit accompanied by a generous amount of food and wine. The trip ended with a 50th class reunion at my college, Lebanon Valley College in a small town about 7 miles east of Hershey PA, also accompanied by food and drink. There was so much food and wine on this trip that it became clear to me that if I want to continue my PASTA QUEST, which I certainly do, I will have to make some serious changes in my eating and drinking habits, as well as resuming daily walks.

On the 14 hour drive out and back I had plenty of time to reflect on all that I wanted to do when I returned home, with my art, my writing, and my cooking. Now the challenge is to implement the results of all of that ruminating.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Whether it is a painting or the written word, the ideas seem to come out of nowhere and the composition and words follow, as if they have been previously programmed somewhere in my head. Editing and revisions often are necessary, but the overall idea usually remains intact. This is good, and I am grateful when it happens.

But since I seem to have no control over this process, I am at the mercy of those muses that do; the result is times like this, when I have the time and the interest to write, but nothing is there. That was the case this morning. I am alone in a motel room in Hershey PA and have more than an hour before I leave for the college reunion festivities and wanting to write a post for my blog.

I thought about writing about the beautiful countryside in the Lebanon valley with its rolling hills, green and ochre farm land and scattered barns, but the dote that I am did not make the effort to take some photos.

Then there is last night’s Alumni Awards dinner where I was one of several recipients of a citation (an engraved metal plate and a Gold college engraved medallion…I scratched it but could not find any chocolate.) I considered, and then dismissed this as a subject of the post…too boring and self-serving.

The people at the dinner?…also a no. Only a few of my classmates and none that I knew well, more are expected for today’s events. Maybe today I can get some photos of my classmates and the campus and put together an interesting post for this blog.

Now that is a good idea. I will just forget about posting anything today.

Billy, your not just a tiger…you’re a brilliant tiger.

Three room-mates and their dates...senior year at LVC...1961

Thursday, June 9, 2011


to fend off the ill effects of pasta withdrawal. Having pasta only once in four days I remedied the situation last evening with a wonderful dish of Linguine with scallops and crab at a delightful waterfront restaurant on the Elk river in Cecil county Maryland, the guest of my dear friend Ed.

Ed attacking his Linguine...with mussels, clams, shrimp, and scallops

My Linguine before...

and after.

The art world needs more people like Ed; he loves art and is an avid collector. His home is filled with art, representing a wide range of styles and media. Now if I can just get him to move to Paducah!

I'm a little worried about being away...Patience informed me today that she is sleeping so much better with me gone. I tell myself that it is only because I am not there to wake her up when she is snoring. Well I guess that is just another sacrifice I will have to make...going away so she can sleep better. Gotta tell you, it is not easy being a tiger.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I left Paducah one week ago today, and predictably for the past few days separation anxiety has begun to settle over me. Removed from my familiar routine and surroundings I begin to feel at loose ends, detached from my anchor. It should come as no surprise when I say than I spend a great deal of time “in my head”, working to stay connected to the ideas, feelings, and all that is numinous that give me inspiration and keep me engaged in my work. That has been my pattern all of my life, feeling that my work comes from some place deep within, giving me purpose and direction. When I am away from home I tend to lose that connection.

It no longer bothers me; I know it is temporary…I gladly accept it as a small price to pay for the pleasures of spending the time with family and dear friends.

Interestingly, while in Bologna for one month, I quickly established an environment of my own and a new routine which allowed me to remain focused and in touch with my work.

The only thing I have yet to figure out is…how do I avoid the emptiness of being away from Patience? That simply cannot be done; she is so deeply embedded in my life and the importance of her presence there is immeasurable. So, with a touch of sadness, a pinch of separation anxiety, and great deal of gratitude, I will thoroughly enjoy the remaining days and visits of this trip.

the love of my life...take your pick!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Yesterday we made our way to New Jersey for another visit with cousins. Sunday was the Rondinelli side, yesterday it was the Renzullis. It was extra special because I got to visit with Rockey, my oldest cousin who was visiting from Florida where he and Miriam retired some 20 years ago.

For those of you who have been worried about me (you are out there, aren't you?) because I've had to interrupt my pasta marathon...not to worry, cousins Joan and Miriam took good care of us. When it came to eat I discovered still another special treat...pasta with broccoli rabe, picked fresh by Angelo that very morning. Oh is good


It was a great afternoon, catching up on family and sharing memories, but it didn't end there. Later, back in Wilmington at Obie's place, when we decided it was time for us to have a late dinner I discovered that Joan had sent the leftover broccoli rabe dish home with Obie, and once again I found myself in pasta heaven. I don't know what I did to deserve such good fortune.