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Recapitulation

Recapitulation
Meat Sauce ensconced by a deep dish of Whole Wheat Linguine, sprinkled with Chicken Fritta
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A restatement of the original theme, with slight variation. Those of you who know a thing or two about today's subject may be balking at the lack of a development pasta, but I must remind you that any and all development occurs after consumption of the pasta.

Pictured here is Recapitulation - have we seen this before, or something like it?

Scherzo

Scherzo
Fettuccine embedded with Italian Sausage, covered in Five Cheese Marinara
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Italian for "little joke", this dish comes as a complete shock when presented in the conext of the meal at large - everything is different from what we've come to expect! There we were, enjoying stringllike noodles with a meaty tomato sauce, and the rug is thus pulled out from under us! And yet, this light playfulness does not detract from the gravity of the piece.

Pictured here is Scherzo - do you get it?

Cadenza

Cadenza
Italian Sausage swathed in a bottomless bowl of Angel Hair, saturated in Meat Sauce
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Gratuitious vocal self-indulgence was an art form long before Whitney Houston - composers of both music and pasta have made use of the cadenza, an improvised bit of virtuosic play, for centuries. There's nothing more gratuitous than italian sauage, of course, and do you see here how the exuberant and flashy use of freshly-sliced herbs stops just short of garish, and serves to accentuate the dish?

Pictured here is Cadenza - hold that last note!

Day 11

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Dining with children puts me in an awkward position. I understand that parenting is a difficult job - fortunately, thanks to my face being plastered all over the news as "the guy who's going to die in a diabetic coma in three weeks", nobody will risk procreating with me - and I am not the type of person who is irritated by children at a restaurant. I understand that kids will be kids, and will typically be unruly, loud, or otherwise unpleasant. It genuinely does not bother me.

But I can tell it bothers other people, and I'm nothing if not sensitive to the feelings of others, bordering on obsequious-ness. So what am I, as a non-parent, to do when my dining companions' children, adorable though they are, drag down the evening for everyone within screeching range?

Obviously, direct interaction with the parents or the children is impossible. One does not tell parents how to parent, for any number of reasons. All I could manage was a tired "sorry" smile to the diners near us and a large tip for our server. I honestly don't know what the etiquette is in this situation. Can anything be done at all?!

Lunch was The Classic.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

Orange Tide
School Lunch
Eighteen Dollar Entree

The above blog entry is entirely fictitious and is a theoretical essay only. On an unrelated note...

A special thanks to my dining companions, The Doll Family!

The Classic

The Classic
Marinara heaped with Meatballs, blended with Spaghetti
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There is perhaps no dish more quintessentially Olive Garden than The Classic. When people with wry, smirking sneers on their face compare the Olive Garden to "s'getti night at Aunt Miriam's", they're thinking of the Classic. I've always had a soft spot for this dish - my own Thursday nights with Aunt Miriam notwithstanding.

Pictured here is The Classic, and, c'mon, pretty good photo, huh?

Orange Tide

Orange Tide
Fettuccine blended with Five Cheese Marinara, seamlessly heaped with Shrimp Fritta
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What if instead of fertilizing our crops with chemically engineered phosphorus, we used pasta? And if the runoff from that fertilizer got into the water supply, instead of algae blooms creating a deadly neurotoxin, they created a delicious cheese sauce?! That's basically the premise of this dish.

Pictured here is Orange Tide - surf's up!

School Lunch

School Lunch
Spaghetti crossbred with Shrimp Fritta, drenched in Marinara
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Anyone who went to a public elementary school remembers that the spaghetti served there is remarkably similar to Olive Garden's, in the inconsistency of the cooking and the "wetness" of the pasta itself. This dish immediately brings me back to 4th grade, swappin' Pokemon cards and being scared of girls.

Pictured here is School Lunch, and I just realized I haven't changed a bit since 4th grade.

Eighteen Dollar Entree

Eighteen Dollar Entree
Cavatappi enhanced with a veritable bevy of Meatballs, woven into Roasted Mushroom Alfredo
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I live in Fargo, North Dakota, and here, we have a certain mindset about restaurants: food shouldn't cost more than a quality hammer, or other piece of sensible hardware. This limit varies from person to person, but generally hovers around eighteen dollars. If you're paying more than that for your entree, you're being hoodwinked by some city-slicker who pays too much attention to putting a sauce in a zig-zag pattern on a white plate, and not enough attention to down-home small-town values.

Pictured here is Eighteen Dollar Entree - bread crumbs? Mushrooms? What is this, Seattle?!

Day 10

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(Part One)

What is art? Free expression of thought, of emotion, of passion? Or the product of a skilled and dedicated hand, a talent worked to a razor's edge through years of careful study and practice? Both? Can anything be art? Can nothing be art?

Today on All of Garden, we're going to look at these broad questions through the lens of pasta. Please get out your notepads and napkins.

Lunch was Art Nouveau.

Dinner was composed of three plates of pasta:

Art Informel
Art Deco
Art Brut

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you found today an enlightening change of pace.

A special thanks to my dining companion, Michael!

Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau
Meat Sauce dropped on a hill of Cavatappi
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Defined by the untamed spirit of the natural world, Art Nouveau frees itself from the hard edges and sharply-defined points of previous schools. Note the sinuous lines and whiplash curves of the cavatappi.

Pictured here is Art Nouveau - see how the meat sauce flows naturally over the pasta?

Art Informel

Art Informel
Penne coated in Roasted Mushroom Alfredo
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Literally "unformed art", Art Informel is what typically comes to mind when people who "don't know art, but know what [they] like" imagine abstract art. This is art that is clearly made by fingerpainting, and has an entire sentence as the title. The pure decadence and unrestrained hedonism of this cream-and-cheese based dish reflects well the school of unrepentant self-indulgence.

Pictured here is Art Informel - come on, my five year old could eat that.

Art Deco

Art Deco
Shrimp Fritta swaddled in a fistful of Penne, smothered in Meat Sauce
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Ah, the modern age! A new century (the 20th, that is) and the promises it brings. Factories, assembly lines, mass production! A country obsessed with efficient and streamlined workforce tends toward efficient and streamlined art. Expect to see functional, utilitarian straight lines, and embellishments that are intricate without being flowery - like the rigid penne seen here.

Pictured here is Art Deco - it's like something out of Bioshock!

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