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It seems to me that ancient man’s instinct to provide sustenance for his family and friends still courses the genes of most of us. 
Go to any farmers’ market on Saturday and watch the hoards of people grabbing produce, squeezing it, poking it, sniffing it and then stuffing it into a plastic bag. It’s the primal need to feed our families. 
Some people simply hate food shopping. You see them in any supermarket with a sour look on their faces. They push and shove, ram their trolleys into your leg and don’t even say sorry. 
The incentive to shop for that ilk is as primal as death by starvation. 
And, in accordance with food, we have dinner parties. I reckon drink driving worries has killed the once popular gatherings for many. 

" Redhead was in her glory glory days -  the gals would get dressed up in their long evening gowns and the men would wear their suits and each couple would entertain the other on Saturday evenings for a splendid dinner party.

My father used to cook the meals - Mum was a meat and 3 veg kind of cook: She still is. A no fuss, no bother kind of cook.  Dad , on the other hand, was the culinary artiste. He had a cook book “ Food of the World “ ( which I still have ) and, from this, he would find menus to prepare on their bi-weekly soirees.

He would create menus that took all day to prepare. The meal was always something to celebrate. Many hours of preparation and dedication to the craft of cooking. 

John’s wife would also prepare wonderful meals and my Mum and John’s wife became firm friends.She, John's wife, like my father, loved the gift of cooking and the bounty of the food that people received in convivial surroundings.

And the table would be set and the best china would be brought out ( that was how it was back in the 70's ) and the ladies and gentlemen would arrive.  

To dine and talk and enjoy the bounty that was friendship, food and the odd glass of wine or whisky. "Shaydee

Also, grandiose dinner parties have slipped from vogue because of cost and time required. Most of us are too broke, and or too busy. Impromptu, is the operative word for today’s hospitable nosh-ups and are usually more appealing as they seem to have a greater spirit to them. 
It’s the unexpected. 
Spontaneity is a wonderful thing. However, it doesn't do you much good if all you have in the fridge is an egg and a slice of stale bread. 
Some frugal souls have bunch of cans in the back of a cupboard for emergencies. They are easily recognised by their swollen lids. 
Cans of baked beans, spaghetti, artichoke hearts and soup must be avoided lest they explode. 
If you are faced with playing host, think pasta. In the following recipe, pasta costs very little when compared to the seafood. I think you will agree when you taste the finished dish.
Quantities are for six hearty  eaters.   
Incidentally, Fettucine, like many foods eaten in Australia, is a result of immigration. Or so we thought.

The history of pasta is a rich and fascinating tale that spans centuries and continents. While pasta is often associated with Italy, its origins can be traced back much further. The exact origins of pasta are a subject of debate among historians, but evidence suggests that it has been consumed for thousands of years. Some believe that pasta-like dishes were consumed in ancient civilizations such as the Etruscans and the Greeks. 

One theory suggests that pasta was introduced to Italy via the Silk Road from China. Chinese noodles bear some resemblance to Italian pasta, and Marco Polo is often credited with bringing noodles to Italy upon his return from China in the 13th century. Another theory posits that pasta was introduced to Italy by the Arabs during their rule of Sicily in the 9th century. Arab culinary traditions included dishes made from durum wheat, which is the primary ingredient in pasta. By the 12th century, pasta had become a staple in Italian cuisine. Initially, pasta was made by hand and dried in the sun. Its long shelf life made it an ideal food for long sea voyages, and it became popular among sailors and explorers. 

The Industrial Revolution brought significant advancements in pasta production. In the 19th century, mechanical pasta-making machines were invented, making pasta more accessible and affordable for the masses. Italian immigrants brought pasta with them as they settled in various parts of the world, leading to its widespread popularity. Today, pasta is enjoyed in countless countries and is a staple in cuisines ranging from Italian to American to Asian. Over time, pasta has evolved into a multitude of shapes and forms, each with its own unique characteristics and culinary uses. From spaghetti to penne to ravioli, the variety of pasta dishes is virtually endless. Pasta holds a special place in Italian culture and is celebrated in festivals such as World Pasta Day. It has also inspired art, literature, and music, becoming a symbol of Italian identity and culinary excellence.

Overall, the history of pasta is a testament to the enduring appeal of this simple yet versatile food, which has captivated taste buds around the world for centuries.

Serve with a crusty French stick and a green salad under oil and vinegar. Crackers and dips should hold them off while you prepare this delight.
Fettuccine with Seafood 

6 portions fettuccine 
500grs. large green prawns, 
peeled and deveined. 
1 kg. mussels, cooked 
and removed from shells. 
1 kg. nile perch, cut into pieces
3 shallots, chopped 
3 cloves garlic, chopped 
1 cup of cream 
1 cup white wine 
pinch of saffron steeped in 1 tbs hot water  
1 tbs. each, butter and olive oil
pepper & salt.  
Cook the pasta in boiling water until aldente (slightly firm).   
Meanwhile, melt butter and oil in a pan, add shallots and garlic, saute 2 mins. 
Add wine and reduce a little, add seafoods, cook 2 mins. stirring gently. Add cream and saffron and simmer a couple more mins. Place pasta on a serving platter and spoon seafood over. Set aside in a warm oven.   
Finally, Bring remaining sauce to a simmer add pepper & salt,  pour over pasta and serve. Garnish with parsley. Note: prawns, mussels and fish can be bought frozen in most supermarkets. 
Saffron is damned expensive. It does however provide a unique savour. There is no substitute. Splurge!
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