Everybody wantsta get into the act, I tells ya.

Wife picks me up after work. First question–what’s for dinner? Hmm. I don’t know, what do you want? She remembered we had asparagus in the fridge from a recent meal (not enough, I say) but we can buy more, she asks?

So…rare here…wife follows me into the grocery store. I go to the fresh pasta aisle a few feet away and come back with some fresh egg pasta. Wife? Gone. Her idea before she left? I had said anchovies, garlic and olive oil pasta.

With asparagus! she exclaims. Ok, Ferran Adria here, in the house.

Wife reappears, carrying sweet peppers and more ideas. Sake. Look! Two pounds of strawberries for $2.75! she squeals. Now we have strawberries. Oh, look. Salt-free sweet potato chips. Now we have…

At home I’m sautéing garlic and anchovies according to a recipe I checked for the amount of pasta I was cooking–doesn’t help to simply throw stuff together without a sense of balance or proportion. Hmm. Ok, one tin of anchovies. 4 garlic cloves. A quarter cup of olive oil. 8 ounces of pasta, ok, we start there.

Pasta is boiling, garlic, anchovies and asparagus are being sautéed, and I spill a little extra evoo into the pan. Asparagus with these ingredients was a good idea. Good thinking, wife of mine!

Plating, next. Pasta back into the pot, dribble the sautée mixture into the pot with the pasta, mix mix.
Looks good. Tasting.

It’s…good. Needs more salt, so we bat back and forth. More anchovies? Parmesan perhaps (we saved the meal with lemon pepper). Hmmm.

Bagoong! Of course, a natural. I’ve eaten a single helping, but for my second half-serving, I pop some ginisang Bagoong out of the fridge and drop perhaps a half-teaspoon into my bowl. Num. num. Good! The shrimp paste is sweet and pungent and definitely adds that certain something to the meal. My wife and I have successfully collaborated.

I added in chopped pistachios to the sauce at the last minute for a nice added crunch. Wife didn’t oppose the notion but thought them unnecessary. Hmm. Matter of opinion, of course.