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Winner of Your Best Seafood Pasta

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Congratulations to lastnightsdinner, whose Linguine with Sardines, Fennel and Tomato won this week's contest for Your Best Seafood Pasta, earning her a beautiful 8-Quart All Clad Stainless Steel Multipot from Williams-Sonoma, plus big prizes from VikingOXO and Tiny Prints, and a spot in the next food52 cookbook!



Q&A with lastnightsdinner

  • Describe an early food experience that has influenced the way you think about food and/or cooking. 
  • My grandma’s kitchen was, and still is, always full of people, laughter, and the aroma of delicious food. I have wonderful memories of the whole family getting together at her house for regular Sunday dinners and holiday meals, of standing at her kitchen table literally up to my elbows in masa while she taught a bunch of us how to make tamales, and of stopping over at her house after my college classes to sit and chat with her over a bowl of her “garbage soup.” I think what I have taken away from these memories is that food brings people together, and while I do enjoy preparing a meal for myself, I’m happiest when I’m sharing a meal with my husband or feeding a crowd.

  • What's your least favorite food?
  • I can’t say I actively dislike any food – I’ll try anything at least once!  Oranges and grapefruits make me break out in a rash, though, so I avoid them.

  • What is the best thing you've made so far this year?
  • I made potato gnocchi for the first time in years.  Crisped up in some sage brown butter, and sprinkled with pecorino and some of our house-cured duck prosciutto (thanks to Charcutepalooza), it made for a pretty fabulous meal.

  • Describe your most spectacular kitchen disaster.
  • When I was dating my first long-term beau and just starting to get adventurous in the kitchen, I had a bright idea to make a big pot of duck and sausage gumbo for his parents, just like one we had when we vacationed with them in the Florida panhandle. It was a weeknight, and I started with a whole, very large, very frozen duck. I put it into a huge stockpot to cook, made my roux and prepped everything else I would need to assemble the gumbo after the duck meat and stock were ready. Several hours and glasses of wine later, that duck was still frozen solid. We ordered pizza.

  • What is your idea of comfort food?
  •  Mashed potatoes, refried beans, grits or polenta – something creamy, spoonable, and better with a little cheese.  And anything with a runny egg on top always satisfies.

  • Apron or no apron?
  • I’ve always been anti-apron unless we’ve got company, but lately I’ve been rethinking my stance.

    • What's your favorite food-related scene in a movie?
    • A Lady, a Tramp, and a plate of spaghetti and meatballs – it doesn’t get much sweeter than that.

    • If you could make a show-stopping dinner for one person, living or dead, who would it be?
    • Our families are so spread out and we rarely get the chance to get together, so having everyone together around a big table and feeding them well would be a dream come true.

    • You prefer to cook: a. alone, b. with others, c. it depends on your mood
    • I can be a little type-A in the kitchen, but sometimes it’s fun to cook with a crowd.  And my husband and I do a pretty good job of staying out of each other’s way when we’re cooking together – which we’ve been doing a lot more of this year.

    • When it comes to tidying up, you usually: a. clean as you cook, b. do all the dishes once you've finished cooking, c. leave the kitchen a shambles for your spouse/roommate/kids to clean.
    • I clean as I cook.  I can’t stand dirty countertops, stacks of bowls in the sink or drips on the stove. 

    💬 View Comments ()

    Comments (17)


    over 4 years ago Sagegreen

    Congrats, Jen! Thanks for sharing all your A's to the Q's, too!


    over 4 years ago shayma

    yayayayayayaayayaya Jen! so happy for you! xx


    over 4 years ago luvcookbooks

    Meg is a trusted home cook.

    beautiful gnocchi, inspiring!


    over 4 years ago gingerroot

    Congrats again! Lovely Q & A and I look forward to your next great looking recipe.


    over 4 years ago hardlikearmour

    hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

    Congrats! Love your story about your grandma.


    over 4 years ago MyCommunalTable

    Congrats and now I want gnocchi. Thanks for the great read.


    over 4 years ago TasteFood

    Congratulations! And thanks for elevating the humble sardine.


    over 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

    Thanks so much, everyone! This has made my week (at least!) - and I'm tickled that my dish is inspiring people to give sardines a chance!


    over 4 years ago drbabs

    Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

    So happy for you, Jen.


    over 4 years ago Kayb

    Congrats! I'm going to try this soon!


    over 4 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

    Congrats, LND!! Your gnocchi looks fabulous too!


    over 4 years ago Lizthechef

    Lovely and well-deserved!


    over 4 years ago NWB

    Congrats on the win!


    over 4 years ago Midge

    Congrats! A great interview and yes, your gnocchi are beautiful!


    over 4 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

    Congratulations lastnightsdinner - a great read and a great recipe to be made. Well done


    over 4 years ago merrygourmet

    Congrats Jen! Such a wonderful interview of one of my favorite cooks...and friends.


    over 4 years ago Bevi

    Congrats! Your gnocchi look amazing!