bob has been a Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper subscriber for 3 decades, trying to support the only watchdogs keeping tabs on our corrupt city and state as the paper itself steadily declines with the rise of electronic media. So reading the NYTimes did not occur to him, not having much time even for the Inquirer, though the latter is now a shadow of its former self requiring less and less time to blow through. However, Villanova University has a free weekday newspaper service for its community with donated papers from The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the NYTimes and the Inquirer, media institutions hoping to hook student readers or perhaps to reach more eyes with their advertising. The conservative WSJ is abundantly plentiful in multiple locations on campus, but the slightly less conservative NYTimes appears only to be available in one spot, which bob passed by chance one day looking for his annual Nova Fitness Health interview destination, so he picked it up and brought it back to ani at home who had more time on her hands teaching only one chem lab per week that semester. It clicked and ani asked for daily delivery, and bob was happy to trek across campus each day to grab one for his partner. Wednesdays is the NYTimes food section day, and as the paper of choice for the "liberal" wing of the ruling class, it can offer better stuff than our struggling Inky, as we call it. Including better food stuff.
Our first free NYTimes food section really caught our attention with a terrific article on Lidia's Marinara sauce calling attention to her latest cookbook, another article on garlicky scallops, and then this parsnip pasta. bob insisted on buying 6 scallops at Whole Foods to try out the scallops (ouch, 12 bucks!), while Ani prepped and pre-roasted the parnips for the pasta recipe. bob was slightly skeptical. Parsnips are one of those veggies that are found in every supermarket, but never seemed to call his name "bob, buy me!" An additive for mashed potatoes maybe, but as the star ingredient in a pasta sauce, not really. Fortunately they had spoken to ani that week, so they were already on hand. It is important to try new things that before hand might seem unnatural. This one is a perfect example, delivering a delightful surprise. Somehow the combination with the parsnips gives the dish an unusually different flavor that we really liked. bob suggested using pancetta instead of bacon---the latter comes in quantities way too large for this application and in bob's mind has the reputation as a bad boy of the food world, gratuitous fat so to speak. Pancetta makes this more authentic Italian in spirit too.
We chose whole wheat farfalle for the pasta shape, in spite of the fact that friends had recently warned us of the deadly health effects of gluten, attacks the brain they say, and carbs are bad. How can we give up the foundation of our entire home cook cuisine: pasta, rice, grains, carbs? Maybe we are doomed, but so be it.
If you like us are still addicted to the foods of modern civilized man not available to our hunter gatherer ancestors, give this one a try. Cream is not on the paleo list of good fats either, so chowing down this combination is really living dangerously. At least parsnips are on the approved list. Small consolation.