It’s strange how relationships go. When you first start dating, it works because it’s easy and spontaneous. And if it’s anything but, you end things real fast. Eight years into marriage—three of those years with a tiny human—it works because we work at it and because we add a weekly event to the calendar. “Hang out.” And in the event notes: “No iPhones allowed.” We’re officially old not young.
We’re masters at sitting on the couch together, scrolling our nights away. You might remember the start of this conversation here. (Side note: I think we’re all going to need thumb joint replacements one day.) And in all the endless scrolling, we forgot how to engage. Or maybe it was the scrolling that kept us from getting there.
Naturally, I have trouble transitioning seasons. I’m best at doing what I know. With cracked windows air conditioning our house from the cold chill, I’m still cooking like it’s summer. The leaves on the big spindly tree out front have yellowed at the tips and some of my plants are looking less than alive. And yet, it’ll be nearing winter by the time I accept Fall’s arrival. I had the same trouble transitioning to motherhood. And now the same trouble transitioning from marriage without kids, to marriage with kids. In true fashion, I’m late. Hal just turned three. Three!
Adding that reoccurring event to the calendar made me feel so old, as if growing old is a bad thing. But this is me owning this new not-so-new phase of life. We’ve only just started doing it, but it’s my favorite night on the calendar. It’s like we’re the only two people on the planet again. Until our neighbor walked in on us last week.
We were playing speed scrabble. I know what you’re thinking.
This peppery white wine pasta is easy like the early days. It comes together in 20 minutes. But it tastes like it’s been years in the making. Like us now. The sauce is semi-sweet from the Seven Daughter Moscato, balanced by the peppery notes of the arugula, fresh cracked pepper, and flecks of red pepper flakes. Though Hal loves it, I’m saving this recipe just for us. We’ll make pasta because it’s easy. I’ll sip wine. He’ll pick the game and hide our phones. We’ll feel like the only two people in the world for a night. At least until the knock at the door or the tip-toes down the stairs.
A semi-sweet and plenty peppery pasta that comes together in 20 minutes, but tastes like an hour. Use dried egg pappardelle noodles if you can. When cooked, they yield the flavor of homemade restaurant pasta.
8 oz. pappardelle or tagliatelle noodles
2 tbsp. salted butter
1 large clove of garlic, minced
2 tbsp. flour
1 c. Seven Daughters Moscato
1/2 c. broth
1/3 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. red peppers
freshly cracked pepper
4 c. arugula, lightly packed
parmesan regianno, grated.
Into a large sauce pan, cook pasta according to directions. Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent noodles from sticking and continuing to cook.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. In the same pan, melt the butter. With heat on medium-low, add in the garlic, cooking only for a second. We don’t want to burn the garlic. Add in the flour and stir together until a paste forms. Quickly pour in the wine, broth, and cream. Turn the heat to medium and stir until no clumps remain. Add in the salt, red peppers, and liberal amounts of cracked pepper. Continually stir while the sauce thickens, about 4 minutes.
Add in the noodles and cook just a second longer to heat the noodles once more.
Stir in the arugula at the last second. Or, save the arugula as a garnish. Or do a little bit of both. Your pick. Top with parmesan and a couple extra cracks of pepper. Serve.