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You Are Who You Eat
2 large 28 oz. cans imported Roma Tomatoes
(or equivalent fresh local organic)
1 small can paste
1 medium onion chopped
1 small shallot diced
4 to 6 cloves of Garlic crushed or diced
1 medium carrot diced
Various Italian spices, fresh only
Salt and pepper
Either 2 cups Marsala wine for sweet or Chianti for stronger fuller sauce
Olive oil and butter.
IN THE BEGINNING THERE WAS SAUCE
“Frankie”, Lord Francesco, Chef of the Gods, now a semi-retired immortal, was on sabbatical from The Heavens. He opened a small eatery on his favorite planet with its truly insane people. The eatery was a ten seat operation located on a side street just behind a strip mall, with parking for ten vehicles. He served weekday lunch only and served until the prepared meals were depleted. When he was out he was out. On weekends he cooked for a food kitchen pro-re-nata. He has one assistant and his name plate read Number Two.
As he stirred the sauce, the sweat dripped off the top of his bandana and down his nose to his chin. It was summer. The A/C compressor was compressing as hard as possible but the kitchen was still hot. It bothered him not. He was doing what he loved, cooking. He just sweat a lot. What his, bandana, and shirt sleeve didn’t catch the sauce did.
That fact never bothered him but his Number two had a coronary every time he witnessed it.
“If the Health Department ever saw you they’d shut us down,” yelled Number Two pointing to the sweat falling into the rich sweet tasting red sauces.
Frankie looked up from the pot of quick sauce he was stirring and said, “They will never see it. I will make sure of it, trust me. Now, go set the tables and tape today’s offering in the window.”
Number Two looked at the paper sign:
Rigatoni pasta, w/sliced grilled salmon, in a sweet red sauce, w/ olives, mushrooms, grape tomatoes and artichokes, a small salad and a glass of Chianti, $15.00.
The perfume of the sauce was heavenly. Number Two knew the basic recipe by heart. It was just the little things that he was missing.
Number Two inhaled deeply. The dining room and kitchen smelled heavenly. Only one thing bothered Number Two. It was those spices that he was never sure about. Just how much and just where did Frankie get them. What was the secret? He knew he had a few more millennia of apprenticeship to undertake before all would be revealed and he would be allowed on his own. He’d just have to wait. And time? Time really meant nothing to him.
Frankie looked up at Number Two, wiped his brow and asked, “Gavone, what-are-you looking at? NOW Go set the tables, tape the offering on the window and get the fish ready.”
The customers were queued up before ‘Frankies’ opened. On the door, in red letters, was nailed the notice:
First come, first served, no reservations.
As they entered and being seated by Number Two one patron was heard to say, “You know, I feel better for days after I eat here.”
His buddy replied, “Me too. We’re lucky to even get a seat. It’s Friday. I had to call in and say I had an AM business meeting so I could get here on time."
Another patron said, “Frankie cooks better than my wife and she’d kill me if she ever heard me say that.”
“I don’t know what it is, but this food is heavenly,” added even another patron at another table.
The whole crowd gave a hearty laugh. The atmosphere was very warm and informal. The assembled patrons raised their glasses and in unison, said “Salute” as they looked toward the kitchen.
Frankie came out, bowed, wiped his head, smiled and ducked back into the kitchen. He was preparing the Saturday meals for the food kitchens. You see, as only Frankie knew, the sweat from his brow dropped into the sauce. And a little bit of this god’s DNA was absorbed by anyone who ate his food. Massive doses cured any disease. No one ever knew it, not even Number Two, yet. But everybody who ate it left of sounder mind and body than when they had entered his eatery. This fact went for the food cooked for the shelter kitchen too.
As Frankie backed into the kitchen he heard someone state, “The food is a bit saltier today. It’s still great. I wonder if he let his Number Two cook?” This was followed by laughter all around.
Number Two just shrugged. Frankie smiled and knew. He gave an extra dose for a few of them. He was an unknown quantity, a super secret and that’s how he wanted it.
I like the recipe starting this out, mixing the magical in with the everyday diner experience.
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