Vodka Sauce, Then and Now


Many (many) New Years Eve’s ago, alone still, I had invited Louise, one of my dear friends, over for dinner.  I had been dating a man the previous year and was devasted by the break up.  Actually, it wasn’t so much a break up as it was a case of MIA.  (Yeah, again.)

A couple of months before, I was driving us to dinner.  At the time, I had a five-speed Mercedes.  He commented that he had bought his first wife a Mercedes, and his second wife a BMW.  I was leasing my car at the time, and we were discussing the "keep or not keep" option at the end of the lease. 

Later, he said to me, “You know, I think you should keep that car.”  And I said, without missing a beat, “You’re just saying that so you don’t have to buy me one.” 

You know that moment when you think you are in a relationship and then you know you’ve stepped over the boundary line?  I held my breath.

I never saw him again.

Being a glutton for punishment, I sent him a tin of Christmas Cookies over the holidays, in a desperate attempt to get a response from him. 


I was planning to make fusilli with Vodka Sauce for New Year’s Eve dinner with Louise.  Whole Foods Market had just opened, and they carried fresh pasta, and I placed an order for a couple of pounds of fresh fusilli.  When I went to pick up the pasta, they had forgotten my order.  My emotions running rampant, I burst into tears.  The Manager of Whole Foods took pity on me, and promised to make the pasta and deliver it. 

When I got home, I found three items on my doorstep:  The pasta, a bottle of champagne from Whole Foods, and a package.  When I opened the package, it was the empty cookie tin and note from him to: “Take care.” 

I was livid.  When Louise came over and I told her what happened, she asked if I was going to do anything about it. 

Me: “I’ll wait until I’m a little less angry and then I’ll decide.” 

Louise: “Don’t wait too long.” 

She was right.  I picked up the phone and left him a scathing voicemail about being such a coward. 

Hung up. 

Called back.

Me (to his answering machine): “AND YOU ATE THE COOKIES?!” 

We spent the remainder of the evening marveling over the vodka sauce, and the fact that that creep ate the cookies.

Recently, I saw a woman I know from the gym in the grocery store.  She was racking her brains trying to come up with a plan for dinner, while her teenage son pulled at her sleeve to buy a jar of Vodka Sauce.  I quickly wrote down this recipe for her.  Hope it was good.  Saw Mr. Pepin in the grocery store as well.  Should’ve asked him what he was making for dinner.

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