I miss Michael when he goes away and it's because I love him. You miss the ones you love, that's just how the love stories go. When he's away, I lose the warm legs to slip cold feet between, the hands to hand me water bottles, and without a television I still don't know how we get those new episodes of Louie to watch online, so I guess I'll have to wait. (Perhaps why it is kept secret.) All that and yet my love story goes something like this: Michael tells me he's going away for a few days and I practically race, tripping over feet, to open my Google calendar because oh man those days can't come fast enough. Yes, I will miss him when he goes away but there are thrilling liberties that come with his departure and they are these lovely, miniature birthday gifts I am burning to tear apart with teeth. I've had this conversation numerous times with friends and it is agreed: there is nothing like the rabid anticipation of that first full day and night of not having your husband anywhere near you. You decide what. You decide when. You decide where. You decide why. When Michael goes away, I am in sweatpants faster than a speeding bullet, lighting candles and swaying ever so sexily to the closing campfire music I have compiled for a Spotify playlist I like to call "Not Your Boyfriend's Music." (This playlist has been around a while.) While the pings of Michael's texts can be heard throughout Joan Baez's version of "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere," really what I'm more concerned with is the type of pasta I am going to cook on this inaugural night left alone to my own devices. They are the best of nights.
(Serves 1 with leftovers)
- 1 cup or so of small pasta
- 1 hot sausage, chopped
- 3 big handfuls of kale, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- white wine, a splash
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- crushed red pepper, a dash
- dried basil, a dash
- 1/4 fresh lemon, a squeeze
- grated pecorino, a sprinkling
- salt and pepper to taste
Get a pot of salted water boiling.
Prep and get the sausage, garlic, and kale chopped. Olive oil into the pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage. Cook until brown. Make room and throw in the kale. Next up, garlic. Stir over low heat. Add a splash of white wine and let it cook down.
When the pasta's ready, run it under some cold water then toss it into the pan. Mix it up and add basil, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. A lemon squeeze to bring out the flavors. Sprinkle with pecorino.