Last night after virtually an all day lightening storm (I am a day behind because we did not want to turn on computers) we had a delicious meal that we have enjoyed only eight times since buying the book in ’00. The recipe is in one of those inexpensive supermarket books that generally don’t last beyond the holiday for which they were marketed. This one was called Cooking with Pasta and it contains some good recipes therefore it has been gingerly handled in these 14 years.

The Chef started the meal with an excellent drink: (she has a number of signature drinks and this is one of them) a Sidecar made with French brandy, Triple Sec and lemon juice. With this marvellous drink she served several small pieces of toast with her olive Tapenade; it is a perfect accompaniment for a perfect drink.

Our main course was equally delicious: the penne with smoked chicken in a cream sauce with grated parmesan and cauliflower florets. Using thickened cream means that the liquid is not as watery as the picture on page 68 would indicate which is far better to my taste and the cauli which I normally do not care for becomes delicious when mixed with the cream and cheese and smoked chicken pieces.

We enjoyed a marvelous Australian Verdelho Hanwood Estate.

You may well ask why we have not fixed it more if Diane and I like it so much and the answer easily enough is the number of other good recipes out there.

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