One of the quirkier and amusing things about Husband has to do with his attraction towards characters in TV shows. He can watch almost any TV show (or any decent TV show) and find a character with whom he relates. As he watches the show, Husband will comment on how whatever is happening to the character on the show is actually happening to him. If he's watching Everyone Loves Raymond (Husband is Raymond) and Ray's wife Deborah says something mean or sarcastic to Ray, Husband will turn to me and say, "Why are you being so mean to me?" Usually I'll throw Husband an exasperated look and burst out laughing. What makes it even more entertaining is that he will take almost ANY character and plant himself in it. He's been Greg House from House MD (love that show) and somehow relate to a vicodin-addicted doctor, or the guy from the show Lie to Me played by Tim Roth and challenge me to speak to him without lying, since as Husband puts it, "I have excellent sense of liars." He has been several characters from the show The Wire and even managed to get into the groove with the show Glee (he's Sue Sylvester).
But the most outlandish character with whom he bonded and related and took on as his persona was Tony Soprano from the series The Sopranos. It was one character where I really didn't see the connection - the mafia, gangster, womanizing, fat, unhealthy, unpleasant, unattractive, horrible accented person was no way resembling Husband. But for whatever reason, he felt the same sort of persecution and injustices that Tony did and would often turn to me while watching the show and say, "Do you see what these people are doing to me? Do they even know who I am?" There was a period when he also wanted to get several colors of velour tracksuits (I said no) so that he could further channel his inner Tony Soprano. Whenever Tony and his wife Carmela would fight, Husband would turn to me and say, "You really shouldn't treat me this way." I would throw my hands up in exasperation because honestly, I did not like ANY of the characters on the show and did not relate to any of them, especially Carmela.
But it was the scenes with food that would really get Husband excited. Carmela would always serve those huge bowls of pasta and you'd see Tony eating his way through pounds and pounds of pasta at the table. And Husband would lick his lips while watching and say, "I could go for a bowl of that pasta." Husband's favorite noodle is angel hair and whenever Husband saw his alter ego consuming those bowls of noodles he'd crave them.
My only connection with my television alter ego is the cooking. And for Husband's pasta loving habits, I have to channel my inner Carmela Soprano every once in a while to get a huge bowl of pasta in front of him. The hardest thing about channeling Carmela in this dish is the timing. You want the pasta to be hot when you toss the oil, so I'd recommend getting the bread crumbs and oil ready before trying to cook the pasta, so that you can get the pasta when it's good and hot.
Angel Hair Pasta with Chili, Lemon, and Arugula
from Tyler Florence's Family Meal
Serves 4 to 6
2 cups panko bread crumbs
8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (2 tablespoons to toast the breadcrumbs, 6 tablespoons for the garlic/chili oil)
8 garlic cloves, slivered (he suggests 3, but that is NOT enough garlic for my family)
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 pound of angel hair pasta
2 cups lightly packed baby, or wild arugula
In a skillet, combine panko with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss together to combine. Toast over medium heat until bread crumbs are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to smal bowl.
In the same skillet heat remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil over medium low heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 10 to 12 minutes to gently cook the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Add lemon zest.
Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain pasta well and transfer to a large bowl. Immediately add arugula, garlic infused oil, bread crumbs and toss everythign together. Mound the pasta on a large platter and serve.