Oh, the glorious days of spring! They are few in New England but the ones we have are perfect for sitting together as a family, each with our own bowl of fresh pasta brightened by arugula pesto. Spring nights are for slow dinners, grass-stained knees, muddy dogs, and relief. They are not meant to be spent brushing synthetic hair. Up until now, just-turned-7 Julia hasn’t been much interested in dolls. She “babies” her animals or plays with real babies but has shrugged off boobie Barbies and the only clothes she’s asked for are her old layette clothes which she puts on her bear or dog. Until last week when Josephina arrived in her giant red bag (from Grandma) with a necklace and frilly pajamas (from Grandpa). I like dolls. I do. I do not like nor understand how these dolls cost so much but I suffer through that in the hopes that there are diamonds tucked in her body cavity or that at night she’ll spring to life and do the dishes. Julia tends to Josephina and tucks her in, all the things a good parent does. But she doesn’t take care of her hair. So this doll who has more expensive nightwear than I do looks like she stuck her head into my mini-Cuisinart.
But the good thing? Jospephina doesn’t cry one bit when I yank out the tangles.
Someone told me to mist olive oil on Josephina’s head.
I would rather eat olive oil and sit on my porch with warm noodles coated in peppery arugula and tangy parmesan, the nutty sunflower giving a pleasant bite to the whole dish. If you need me to watch your kid or baby, I will. I will be kind and loving and feed them and read. Just don’t ask me to be your doll’s hairdresser.
This is a fresh, slightly spicy bright green sauce. Wonderful served over any strong pasta. 2 cups arugula, rinsed and patted dry 2 big cloves garlic 1 cup sunflower seeds 1 cup good olive oil 1 cup Parmigiano-reggiano ¼ cup Romano Pulse and chop the garlic, arugula, and seeds in the food processor. When combined and mixed well, add the oil is slowly until the sauce is thick. Add cheese, gently mixing as you go. Add salt and pepper as desired. Note: This recipe makes enough for about two pounds of pasta. If you’d like to freeze half of the sauce (and it freezes well), do so before adding the cheese. You might also try spooning small bits of the sauce into wonton wrappers, sealing with a bit of egg, boiling them for two minutes and then sautéing them in a pan with a bit of butter for a ravioli-type dinner – a big hit with kids. Or freeze in ice cube trays and use as single-serve portions.