Sunday was one of those evenings when we were teetering between packing up the kids and walking into town for dinner or scrounging a pretty bare pantry for edibles. When the children started moaning loudly that didn’t want to get cleaned up for public viewing, I decided to scour the kitchen for food. I flung open the freezer (chicken tenderloins…done), the fridge (one head of romaine…done) and the pantry (15 boxes of penne because you never know when Barilla might go out of business.)
So I started thinking chicken pasta. But as the chicken took shape in the skillet with bacon, onions, thyme and a splash of vermouth, it seemed like a dish that would be happier without pasta.
The next logical step for the noodles? Mac and cheese, of course. Or, rather, penne and cheese. It was a fine idea, except the cheese drawer offered only a fossilized rind of some expensive gouda I bought months ago.
At that point I recalled a meal I ate about 10 years ago in Lyon, France. It was a piece of