Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Spaghetti and 'Rope'

My husband Dan likes to tell me a funny story he heard on TV when he was a kid. Robin Williams was just becoming a big star, thanks to the sit-com Mork & Mindy, and told an interviewer that his favorite comedian was Jonathan Winters. According to Williams, Winters had a character named King Kwazi of Kwaziland. At ten feet wide and 11 miles long, Kwaziland's top exports were... spaghetti and rope!

Saturday night was Spaghetti and 'Rope' night at our little house. We didn't plan our "dinner and a movie" night like this—it just turned out that way. We started with a plan to satisfy out post-Italy craving for spaghetti and meatballs. I made some tasty turkey meatballs—a little bit of fennel seed gave it extra flavor—and then I simmered them in sauce, just like my mom always does. Full disclosure: At the last minute, we decided to cook bucatini rather than spaghetti. Bucatini is a much thicker round-edged noodle than even thick spaghetti, and is widely served in restaurants in Italy. We had ordered a bunch from Amazon.com for a carbonara recipe. It looks like fat spaghetti so I think our theme stayed intact. Of course in true Italian style I finished the mostly cooked pasta in the sauce, a key method for integrating the flavor of the sauce into the noodles. So, that was the dinner portion of the night.

For the movie portion, we had just received Hitchcock's suspense thriller "Rope" from Netflix. This is one of my favorites, with Farley Granger, who is possibly best known for his role in Hitchcock's later film "Strangers on a Train," and the well know Jimmy Stewart. The whole film—inspired by true-crime drama—takes place in one apartment over the course of one night. Two college pals think that they are superior to all, culturally and intellectually, and are very certain that they can commit the perfect murder of one who is of the lower echelon of society. Glutenous with self-approbation much?! They have a cocktail party and among their guests, a former mentor of theirs (Jimmy Stewart) shows up... and... well, that's all I want to say. It's too delicious of a story to give any of it away. Rent Rope, and make some spaghetti to have with it! Or, if you want something that fits the movie even better, try champagne and ... chicken. But I don't want to give too much more of the movie away!   

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