Ok... so I know my last post was quite depressing, but on a lighter note... I'm in a better mood. Friday, Andy and I went out to dinner, to our favorite place (Varanese), and under my assumption, it was just a "cheer-up" dinner from my lousy week. Well, turns out Andy had an even bigger surprise for me... HE PROPOSED! I was in complete and utter shock. It was just a whirlwind of a weekend and I won't go into all the cutesy details (mainly because I've repeated this story a million times, and I'm sure I'll post about some time in the near future), but I'll just give you some glimpses of the ring and how he proposed!
They brought out our dessert and this was what was written around my plate of creme brulee (which I didn't get to eat hardly any of because I was shaking with excitement and emotion the whole time!) Andy couldn't help himself and ate a bit of the "M" in "Marry" before I could take a picture with my phone, hehe.
Adapted from Bon Appetit's January 2010 Issue - "Spicy Spaghetti w/ Fennel & Herbs"
6 oz. pancetta, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 red jalapenos, halfway deseeded and chopped
1 fennel bulb, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 & 1/2 cups chicken broth
fresh parsley, chopped
juice from 1 lemon
dash of fennel seeds
1 lb. spaghetti
1 & 1/2 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese
In a large skillet, heat the pancetta under medium high heat, until it is golden brown, about 5-8 minutes. Transfer pancetta to paper towels with a slotted spoon and set aside.
In same skillet, heat up 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Then add the garlic and jalapenos. Saute for about a minute, or until fragrant. Add the fennel slices and cook until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, about 2 tablespoons of parsley, lemon juice, and a sprinkle of fennel seeds. Bring the mixture to a boil and bring heat down to low. Cover and let fennel braise for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
Cook the pasta until it is al dente and drain. Add pasta back into pot.
Uncover the fennel broth mixture and heat back up under high heat. Cook for about 5 minutes or so, or until the broth is reduced by about 1/2 to 3/4. Add the mixture to the pasta along with remaining olive oil, cheese, and reserved pancetta. Mix together and serve topped with extra cheese and garlic bread!
This was pretty tasty and the jalapenos packed a spicy punch! Enjoy!
Like I said, things are slowly starting to look up for me, and I've definitely got my mind off of the setback I experienced last week. Andy showed me that we're in this for the long-haul and we're going through what we go through together. And despite it all, I can't help but bring a smile to my face knowing that I'm going to grow old with a great person!
The only thing that remains is... what ever am I going to do about my Blog title?!? Hehe... we'll cross that bridge another day.