Getting married in October means that your anniversary will always involve root vegetables, which is fine because I have never met a root vegetable I didn’t like. Had I known that it would also involve the baseball play-offs and World Series, I might have considered the calendar differently. When cooking for two, the name of the game is compromise, which—put another way—is akin to defining the wily term, “salt to taste.” That kind of knowledge comes with time, testing, and second helpings.
Take my Carrot Pasta Sauce. The idea for it began as I pondered the tomato and wondered how it had maintained a monopoly on pasta sauce. It caused me to question whether a carrot could step in and hold its own as a flavorful alternative to the tantalizing tomato. Before long, leeks, olive oil, and tarragon joined the hardy carrot, as the flavors began building in my mind before they combined in the pot.
If marriage has taught me one thing, it’s that I’m in it for the long term. This gives me immense freedom to try things out. Creating recipes is likewise a long-term undertaking; the first time may falter and usher in a second or third occasion to make a dish that comes closer to how I taste it in my mind. While the two of us may compromise on what we eat, I don’t compromise on getting it just right. Because once we spear fusilli with carrot sauce clinging to each curlicue, all the work that led up to that bite is worthwhile.
This sauce transforms a simple root vegetable into something worthy our annual October celebration to remind us of what brought us together. We bring what we love most to the table and sometimes its garbed in orange, one of the colors of our favorite baseball team.