Well, actually, topless would be more like it. Playboy likes to keep its nudity above the waistline, sunshine. The magazine that people “only read for the articles” has just released an online pictorial called the “Girls of the Olive Garden” (I’m not linking it here for my own reasons, but if you can’t find it by googling, you’re just not trying hard enough).
While The Olive Garden doesn’t have the most stellar reputation in serious food circles, tens of millions of Americans looooove it, and I remember it being quite popular with the post-church Sunday lunch crowd. So I have to wonder how this Girls of the Olive Garden will go over with the Church Ladies. I’m guessing more than a few will get their slips in a twist.
I also wonder if this means Olive Garden will run a special to coincide with the spread. Pasta Puttenesca came immediately to mind (which translates to “whore’s pasta”), but I’m guessing it’s probably a little too bold and spicy for average OG goers.
I know Hef and his lady love du jour came up with the idea because of their love of OG breadsticks and the fact that they claim to spy a lot of hot servers there (huh?), but it seems they could have come up with some restaurant chains with names that tie in much better to a Playboy spread. Hooters is almost too obvious. How about Le Peep, Fuddruckers, Sweet Tomatoes or does anybody remember Rax? My own personal favorite, though, is In & Out. I left a few off the list because I thought they crossed the line (although I think I might have with In & Out), but I’d love to see what others come up with in the comments section.
And you know what? Just for kicks, here’s a recipe for Pasta Puttanesca.
8 oz. penne rigate pasta (spaghetti seems to be more “traditional” but I like this sauce with penne rigate)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
3-4 anchovy filets, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 15 oz can of crushed tomatoes (or chopped, or whole that you crush yourself)
2 Tbsp. of capers
10 (or so) black olives, pitted and chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh Parsley, coarsely chopped
Torn fresh basil leaves
Freshly grated Parmesean cheese
1. Cook pasta according to package directions in salted water
2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and add garlic, crushed red pepper and anchovies until anchovies melt, about 2 or 3 minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic- it gets bitter if you do.
3. Add tomatoes, capers, olives, and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper and bring sauce to a bubble then turn the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes to let the flavors come together.
4. While sauce is cooking, pasta should be done. Drain it and put into a large serving bowl.
5. Toss sauce and 1/4 c. of freshly grated parmesean with pasta and garnish with chopped parsley and a few torn basil leaves. Pass more parmesean at the table and serve with hot bread and a simple green salad.