Saturday, September 14, 2013

This Sorrowful Life (part 2): Late Bloomer Pasta

Glenn approaches Hershel and shows him the pocket watch that Hershel presented to him at the Greene farm, so long ago. Glenn explains that he understands the gift now; and that he wants to marry Maggie.

Although the looming war with the Governor may end all of their lives within the week; he still wants to get married. Hershel gives Glenn his blessing and smiles as the young man races off to propose to Maggie. Glenn finds her keeping watch and only needs to show her the ring he has scavenged before she says "yes."

Michonne returns to the prison at last. Merle let her go and headed to the feed mill alone in an attempt to inflict at least some casualties on the Governor's best fighters. Daryl returns later with the news that Merle succeeded with his plan. Eight of the Governor's best men lay dead. And Merle himself was killed and turned in the process.

None of the Group would have the heart to be anything other than kind to Daryl over his terrible loss. Merle's crazy plan has given them a fighting chance. Woodbury has lost eight of their finest soldiers as well as the advantage.

That night, dinner would be awkward and heartbreaking. Hershel and Beth would want to make something extra nutritious but also delicious; especially for Daryl. Like Daryl, Merle's heart was true; but the eldest Dixon was unable to find his path until his death was inevitable.

Although none of them were able to cultivate a fondness for Merle; their love and admiration for Daryl would assure respectful behavior. 

Late Bloomer Pasta uses intensely-flavored pantry ingredients for the light vinaigrette and whole wheat pasta for an extra vitamin and fiber boost. Inspired by the New York Times recipe for Anchovy Vinaigrette (with raisins!), this unusual and simple combination will surprise you. Like Merle Dixon, this strongly flavored dish comes with a bite and leaves you wanting more.

No food is a cure for grief, but sharing a nutritious meal with people you care about is a good start.

And when the dead rise; it's okay to be a late bloomer. As long as you bloom in the end.

Late Bloomer Pasta

1 pound box Whole Wheat Pasta

4 Tbsp. Red Wine or Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 can anchovies, mashed with a fork
1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder

1 cup Walnuts or Almonds
1 cup Raisins
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup Dried Parsley

In a large, heavy stock pot or Dutch oven, combine the first four of the vinaigrette ingredients. Warm gently over medium heat or medium coals and stir until anchovies "melt" and liquefy but do NOT allow to simmer or sauté.

In another large Dutch oven, boil water over high heat or very hot coals. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Stir into the vinaigrette and toss well, using two forks. When the vinaigrette is well blended with the pasta, stir in the last four ingredients and toss again. Allow to cool slightly and serve with Sea Salt and Pepper.

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