Pasta e basta! To me, a much more fitting maxim to act on than Louis XIV’s l’état, c’est moi, maybe because I don’t have a state to call my own and reign in as I please, but mainly because I love to eat, and if I ever were to become the King of France, they probably would call me Le Roi Cuisine instead of Le Roi Soleil. Anyway, pasta is the best there is. If a pasta dish is properly done, you cannot top it, not with the best recipes in the world. Fine pasta, no matter how easily it is to prepare, puts any cook to shame, no matter how highly decorated. Tonight, I put them all to bitter shame with penne rigate, black olives, tomatoes, anchovis (grinded in a mortar to make it almost dissolve in the sauce), olive oil, chillies, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and some sauteed prosciutto crudo. Yum! The state of pasta, c’est moi!