Tengo tutto dentro.
Le urla nella gola
e le farfalle nello stomaco,
finché più nessuna vola
e le parole non mi soffocano.
—  Cit. pioggia-di-parole

For Christmas I got an attachment for making sheets of pasta, and two cutters – one for spaghetti and one for fettuccini. (If you’re a follower, you’ve heard about this numerous times.) Right now, my favorite pasta to make and eat is farfalle. I’ve had so much fun creating this little bowtie shape, I’ve given pounds of it away.

Today I was looking to make a meal that didn’t require a trip to the store. My new go-to is this wonderful, tender and eggy pasta, so all I had to do was open the drawer in the freezer and pull out a bag of it. What else did I already have on hand? Some beautiful broccoli, a bowlful of shredded rotisserie chicken, fresh basil, parsley still growing in the garden, milk, dry sherry, and a hunk of Parmigiano Reggiano.

I knew this humble dish would be fabulous. I’ve cooked for so many years, putting this type of casserole-type meal together is as easy as making a beautiful béchamel sauce and then tossing in any good, fresh ingredients you happen to have on hand. Sometimes this kind of dish ends up baking in the oven for a while, but not today. The pasta was perfect, and I was hungry.

If I had known how much fun it was to make pasta, I would have asked for a pasta maker years ago. However, this new love affair had better taper off soon, or my workout pants are going to need to be replaced.

Creamy bowtie pasta with chicken and broccoli. Serves four.


  • ½ pound farfalle (bowtie) pasta, fresh or dry
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or more if needed
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for the finished dish
  • 1 cup or so chopped or shredded chicken (you can leave the chicken out if you want)
  • Chopped parsley
  • Chopped basil (if you have some on hand)


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta. With 5 minutes of cooking time left, add the broccoli. Cook until pasta is al dente, or however you like it. Drain pasta and broccoli in a colander. Note: If you’re using fresh pasta, it doesn’t take long to cook, so the pasta and the broccoli go in together.

Meantime, in a large saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently until they’re translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Add the milk, chicken broth, and dry sherry. Whisk until sauce comes to a boil and continue to cook for another minute. Add the parmesan cheese. Taste, and add more salt if needed.

Turn heat to low and add the chicken, pasta, and broccoli. Continue to cook only until all ingredients are heated through. Serve in a preheated bowl and pass around more cheese.

Ma cosa ti aspettavi?
Guardati, ben vestito, orologio, bel viso, bella macchina, ma tesoro riesci a cavartela i primi giorni di conoscenza.
Con le donne, ovviamente, con il resto potresti durare.
Ed io ti lascio al “resto”.

Maria Auriemma

Grreetass, Volo sui ricordi come farfalle su un prato

C'è chi sente le farfalle nello stomaco e chi come me ha la felicità che gli scorre in ogni singola vena del corpo fino al cuore, tutto a causa di una persona.
—  Sara D. (Citazione per il 30 gennaio 2016)