Daniel thinks he is probably better at pouring wine than cooking
January's inaugural Cooking Your Calendar event was loads of fun, and we've been inundated with 'offers' from friends to fill chairs at the dinner table for February's do. To keep each dinner interesting and varied we long debated how to approach it and who to invite. Daniel suggested we tie it in with his 35th birthday on the 25th but then got greedy thinking he'd never be able to cater for each of his 670 Facebook friends.
Our dear friend and neighbour, Elizabeth Stanton, offered her apartment for the event and suggested we link it with Valentine's Day. An inspired decision we thought, knowing deep down Liz was single and probably hoping we'd invite her future husband. That remains to be seen, but we can announce our invitees for February as reality television producer Jackie Martin, advertising & design director James Hossack, filmmaker Heath Davis, and of course curator and arts writer Elizabeth Stanton - our already mentioned hostess with the... you know how it goes.
Our Cooking Your Calendar team has three excellent cooks, as you saw with Pete's stellar effort this month. None of us, however, can claim professional chef status - despite Drew thinking he's professional by bloodline because his chef twin brother has cooked for big name international superstars. Daniel is the exception, freely admitting he'd rather organise an iTunes playlist, re-hang the art collection, set the table or pour the wine than have to ever cook. He last cooked something in say 1990-something-or-other. So to prove his opposable thumbs aren't entirely primate in the kitchen, he volunteered to cook February's recipe, which is Spaghetti Puttanesca by Leanne De Bortoli.
Speaking of Leanne De Bortoli, she actually emailed during the week to say "Great to see this project up and running. Even better that we didn't think of it ourselves". Leanne also mentioned that the history of the dish is quite amusing and worth Googling. Curiosity got the better of us and we learned via Wikipedia that spaghetti a la puttanesca is a "whore's dish"! Well, not exactly today. But the three potential origins for the dish claim it is made from the "odds and ends found in the larder... any kind of garbage". It also derives from the Italian word for whore puttana, and according to one chef quoted on Wikipedia, it was a quick cheap meal that prostitutes could prepare between customers.
Sounds delicious and mind the pun, pretty 'easy', which suits amateur chef Daniel to a T.
We promise not to take it this far with the "whore's spaghetti"
(image found thanks to Google Images)