Kimberly is pregnant and living in a sweet West Village apartment with her dog Fanny. And brilliant for me, she's allowing me to be her labor coach instead of Luis, her personal trainer-cum-baby-daddy. It's probably a wise choice, although Luis might think otherwise––the first time he met me was the one night in the past four years that I've been out past 9:00 (it was Kimberly's 41st birthday)––and I drank one too many glasses of champagne and while dancing in my very tall heels in small apartment packed with people ala Breakfast at Tiffany's and, well, let's just say I had a rather large fall into the coffee table, knocking over at least twenty-five champagne glasses and causing quite a stir.
Labor coach may be too narrow of a term. I consider myself an all-around pregnancy-new mom-gestation advisor, consulting on things like whether or not she should drink a glass of wine (of course) and how not to get caught up in all the craziness surrounding baby-growing. Hint Number One: Don't read What to Expect When You're Expectingg. Hate that book; it's an anxiety-laden medical freak-out, detailing every single thing that could go wrong.
My other job, is to cook for her and keep her feeling loved. Saturday she came to dinner. Since tomato season is almost over, I bought a big bag of them from the farmer's market to enjoy before they're gone. With tomatoes as my starting point, I made whole wheat pasta with a sauce recipe from the patron saint of pasta, Marcella Hazen's. There's a lovely crunch to this sauce with the addition of little bits of carrots and celery that are simply simmered and finished with a bunch of super-fruity olive oil.
Tomato Sauce with Olive Oil & Chopped Vegetables
Adapted from Marcella Hazan
2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes, skins removed and hand-chopped
2/3 cup chopped carrots
2/3 cup chopped celery
2/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 to 1 1/2 pounds whole wheat spaghetti
Place vegetables in a sauce pan and simmer gently for twenty minutes without the top on. Add olive oil and cook for another fifteen. Toss with cooked pasta and Parmesan cheese.