SERENITY AND SAUSAGES, NIRVANA

Last week at breakfast, my table companion was the dashing and urbane Andrea Boffi, restaurateur and consultant chef to Eric Way. 

I’d been given a bottle of Ataraxia Serenity 2007, one of the wines that sponsored the previous night’s event.  The wine is pricey at R120 a bottle, so I wanted to do something special to go with it and asked Andrea what he thought.  “This wine is a seamless blend of classic red varietals yet the emphasis is more on style than cultivar make-up.” So says one online store.

Andrea suggested I choose a robust pasta dish from the menu of his restaurant, Casa Toscana in Trafalgar on the Kwa Zulu Natal South Coast:

 

Penne con salsiccia e brandy

Penne cooked al dente served with our rich sauce made with Italian style pork sausage, tomato, chilli, brandy and a touch of fresh cream.

This is my interpretation:

Ataraxia … the dictionary defines it thus:

Ataraxia (Ἀταραξία “tranquillity”) is a Greek term used by Pyrrho and Epicurus for a lucid state, characterized by freedom from worry or any other preoccupation.

For the Epicureans, ataraxia was synonymous with the only true happiness possible for a person. It signifies the state of robust tranquility that derives from eschewing faith in an afterlife, not fearing the gods because they are distant and unconcerned with us, avoiding politics and vexatious people, surrounding oneself with trustworthy and affectionate friends and, most importantly, being an affectionate, virtuous person, worthy of trust.

How very appropriate …

FOOTNOTE:

If you find yourself in Trafalgar, tell Andrea you read this post and he’ll give you 10% discount on your meal. (Drinks excluded).

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43 Comments Add yours

  1. I am not reading your blog early in the morning anymore – it always leaves me STARVING!!

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’ll feed you, come on over 🙂

    2. buttercup600 says:

      Or late in the afternoon (after a very long day)…I am going to fall over…looks good Cin oxoxox

      1. theonlycin says:

        You are working far to hard, don’t make me come over there and make you eat properly!
        Take care
        xxx

  2. adeeyoyo says:

    Ataraxia… sounds very boring to me…

    BTW, what time is lunch? @ Christine1960

    1. theonlycin says:

      Not boring at all, this is a quote by the winemaker:
      “You have to have the courage of your convictions to make wines that whisper as opposed to shout.”

      1. adeeyoyo says:

        No, no, Cin… I meant the nirvana thingy – fine in the short-term, but after a while probably a bit boring:

        “…ataraxia was synonymous with the only true happiness possible for a person. It signifies the state of robust tranquility that derives from eschewing faith in an afterlife, not fearing the gods because they are distant and unconcerned with us, avoiding politics and vexatious people, surrounding oneself with trustworthy and affectionate friends and, most importantly, being an affectionate, virtuous person, worthy of trust.”

  3. Rosemary says:

    Lovely – I love sausage with pasta – my favourite is Chorizo. Have a great week 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      This is, oddly, the first time I’ve made a pasta dish using sausages. Won’t be the last 🙂

  4. My mouth is actually watering! I think I am also going to cook something and take a photo and post it 🙂 I think I also want to join Christine for lunch / breakfast 🙂

      1. Right, I’m booking my flights 😉

      2. theonlycin says:

        Pack a big case, you won’t be going home anytime soon ;p

  5. Count Czardas says:

    Did you enjoy your bottle of serenity ?

    1. theonlycin says:

      Haven’t drunk it yet, that’s tonight’s wine. (It’s complicated …)
      But I did enjoy bumping into the fetching young sales rep in my village this morning 😀

  6. he’s quite good as eye-candy himself 😉

    I guess that was a meal worth remembering.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Isn’t he just, I was impressed that he looked so good after partying into the wee hours.
      A very memorable meal.

  7. suzicate says:

    Mmmm, looks delish, both the pasta and the wine!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Simple and sublime 🙂

  8. If the drinks were included in the dinner deal, I’d hop on a plane and be there tonight! :#)

    1. theonlycin says:

      Oh come on then, I have plenty of wine 🙂

  9. slpmartin says:

    Since I’m having my first cup of coffee of the new day, I can resist the temptation presented here…but it does look delicious.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Enjoy your coffee, I hope it turns into an inspired day for you 🙂

  10. gospelwriter says:

    I love Italian, especially when it’s talking about food (or looking like him, or singing like another Andrea…). Love the quotes on wines, although I find myself having to look up words. 🙂 You’ll laugh – in a comment I made on someone’s Blogger blog this morning I got the usual word verification test, and the word was “wines” – no word of a lie! I thought of you immediately… 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      bwahahaha … I got some really funny Blogger word verifications today.
      Isn’t this bloke just very easy to look at ?

  11. granny1947 says:

    What a bonus…he is so cute!!!

    1. theonlycin says:

      His accent is lovely too 😀

  12. valbrussell says:

    I’m going to start removing the food from your blog and applying them directly to my hips. You are a brilliant cook my dear, and as I’ve worked in the biz in my life, you passion for food is one reason why. Okay, I’m hungry now, I need to go an gnaw on a something far less appetizing than your fare. 🙂 Oh, and he’s delicious looking too. 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Val, that’s a very special compliment 🙂

  13. valbrussell says:

    See, the food and the face got me all confused and half of the last post is illiterate lol ehem, let me compose myself hahahaha

  14. Tokeloshe says:

    Looks and sounds delicious !

  15. My, what lovely table partners you have, Cindy. The pasta is not the only delicious thing at the table.

    1. theonlycin says:

      The chef is a real dish 🙂

  16. Jamie Dedes says:

    Wonderful dish. May all your dinner times be tranquil.

  17. Naomi says:

    OMG my mouth is WATERING!!! Thanks for teaching me a DELIGHTFUL new word, too 🙂

  18. Giovanni says:

    A wonderful pasta!
    This is a classic Italian pasta dish which is often referred to as Pasta Buttera. I often make this dish with the addition of peas.
    I need to start drinking more South African wines.
    “Ataraxia” is surely something we must aspire to.
    “Wines that whisper” is such a beautiful phrase.

    Regards
    Gio

    1. theonlycin says:

      I will remember the peas next time, this will be a regular at my table from now on.
      Thanks for your visit 🙂

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