by Viki Lyn
I was raised in a family of chefs. My grandfather left his hometown in Italy as a young lad, and crossed the Atlantic Ocean during the early 20th century. From New York City, he boarded a train to California. He had work lined up in San Francisco as a sous chef in a prestigious hotel where he learned his trade.
My father inherited my grandfather’s love of food and was an excellent cook. My father never measured anything, so when he wrote down a recipe it was a pinch of this and handful of that.
This recipe is all about a pinch of this and a handful of that. You can add whatever you have in the fridge…be creative…and have fun.
Light Pasta Sauce
Start with simmering garlic in olive oil. Stir occasionally. Adjust heat as needed so you don’t burn the garlic.
Snoop around your vegetable bin and decide which veggies to use. The only essential vegetable is the tomato!
I’m partial to my old standbys:
Red Bell Peppers
Chop the veggies, but not too small.
Once the garlic is lightly roasted, add in the mushrooms and bell peppers first. After a couple of minutes, mix in the chopped zucchinis. After another couple of minutes, stir in the tomatoes.
This is when I like to include salt, pepper and Italian herbs. And, if you have fresh chopped basil, toss it in. It adds a nice taste to the sauce.
Cook the pasta and before you add the sauce: Toss the cooked pasta in a light coat of olive oil and lemon juice, and add the sauce.
Top with Parmesan or Romano cheese. Serve with a crisp salad and plenty of fresh Italian bread for dipping into the sauce.
And for dessert, here’s a peek into my latest M/M from Loose Id.
Rocker Leo needs a break. From the band, roadies, everything related to his present life. Wandering the streets of Vienna, he chances upon a poster that just might change his life. Andre Revele, renowned violinist, and Leo’s ex-lover, is performing in the city. It’s been years since Leo slipped out of Andre’s life in the middle of the night, but he’s never forgotten their passionate love of music and each other.
Andre’s shocked when Leo shows up backstage after his performance. Hell yes, he’s angry, but he can’t walk away. Against his better judgment, he invites Leo to his hotel for a drink. Not sure what he wants from Leo, he knows what his body wants right now. A night of passionate sex leads to another, until he’s lost his heart to Leo again.
When Andre finds his trust in Leo tested, Leo must prove his loyalty by using their one common passion – music – to bind their hearts.
Leo finished his cappuccino. He needed a break. From the band, roadies, everything related to his present life. He tried to ignore the constriction in his chest. He hadn’t written anything in months, and that scared the shit out of him. His bandmates were like his brothers, but as much as he loved them, it wasn’t the same as having a lover who completely got him. He had no one to turn to when in a funk.
He hoped to God he still had more words inside him. For all of his flamboyance on stage, his real love was composing.
Leo paid the check and left. Too wound up to go back to his hotel, he roamed the streets, taking in the Vienna night. Stars sparkled above St. Stephen’s gothic spire. The wide boulevards twisted into narrow lanes perfect for getting lost in.
Happy to wander aimlessly, Leo slipped his hands into his fleece-lined jacket. Living in LA, he’d forgotten how cold winter could be in other parts of the world. He turned the corner and sputtered to a halt. Staring at the poster pasted to the side of a building, he didn’t need to read the name of the virtuoso to know who it was. He could never forget that face in rapture—when playing or getting off. Music and sex had invoked the same feelings in Andre Revele. Passion was passion, and that man had always had both in spades.
Numbness swept across Leo as he stared at the picture of Andre caressing the bow in those slender-fingered hands—such artistic hands on a large man. It had been love at first sight—or at least lust—when Leo had walked into the practice room.
He could still remember a youthful Andre, not quite grown into his robust physique, as he played the last stanza of Bach’s Concerto in E. The violin’s notes had faded, but the music had remained in the air long after the performance was over. Bright green eyes peered through dark lashes, and sensual, pouty lips morphed into a shy smile. Like an idiot, Leo had been at a loss for words at Andre’s performance and enamored by that handsome face. Until Andre laughed, breaking the spell.
From that day forward, they were inseparable. They both had insatiable appetites for music. They stayed up all hours talking about philosophy and musical composition, and arguing what was better, thin-crust or thick-crust pizza. They played music together, fucked, and enjoyed the simple moments that composed their insular world.
He scanned the poster for the dates of the concerts. Tomorrow night was the last performance. Leo shuffled his feet, unable to move away. He bit his lip and traced the image of Andre. Did he dare go? It had to be fate. He’d been thinking of Andre, talking about the past with Sid, and now this.
His heartbeat quickened. What if he went backstage and Andre didn’t recognize him? Or brushed him aside? Leo had purposely avoided searching the Internet for news of Andre, too afraid that his ex had a lover, or worse, had married. Their lifestyles were miles apart, and Leo could never think of Andre as a friend.
He drank in Andre’s image. Tall and broodingly dark, Andre had the body of a jock and the sensitive heart of an artist. Leo preferred men unlike himself. He’d been a skinny kid, and had a difficult time gaining weight. If he’d been born years earlier, he would have been the perfect face for a glam rock band. At least he’d outgrown the term pretty boy or twink.
Leo chewed his lower lip as he studied Andre’s picture. Tempting as it was to see his ex again, visiting the past was a bad idea. This wasn’t the time, not when Leo was restless and bored. His heart couldn’t take a rejection from Andre. There were other men, lots of men, and he’d had his share of quite a few of them. With his schedule it had become impossible to form any long-term commitment. Or at least that was what he told himself.
A big, fat lie.
He’d never met anyone who made him feel the way he’d felt for the violinist.
Leo kissed his fingers and pressed them to Andre’s lips. “Good-bye, Princess.” Andre hated that pet name, but Leo loved using the endearment. Andre had been born into wealth and privilege, and his family had expected great things from him. “You proved them right, didn’t you?”
Before Leo changed his mind, he hurried away, dismissing the memories of a love lost to his ambition.
Multi-published and award winner, Viki Lyn is a successful writer of gay paranormal and contemporary romance. After reading and collecting whatever she could get her hands on, she wrote her first male/male romance. And that was ‘it’ for her. She never looked back. Viki travels the world in search of inspiration. She considers herself blessed to have traveled to many of the mystical sites she had dreamed about as a child. Her travel experiences have been influential in creating her paranormal worlds. When she needs to relax, she calls a friend to meet at their favorite coffee house. When the chattering in her head goes off the charts, she plays one of her favorite RPGs on her PS4 and immerses herself in the world of dragons and magic.