Halloween Week: Edgar Allan Poe’s Crow’s Feet Pasta (with artichokes and shrimp)




“…take thy form from off my door! / Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore’.” The Raven


For the pasta:

500 grams maccheroncini

A metronome

10 large shrimp, pealed and cleaned.

8 fresh, ripe tomatoes

1 onion.

1 clove of garlic

Sweet basil

Rose petals


For the stuffed artichoke:

20 very black olives

1 giant artichoke heart

One live raven*



*If your local pet shop can’t procure a raven, any wild bird will do, as long as it has a beak.
Serves 5.

Click on the metronome. Grab the raven by its feet and hang it upside down in front of the window. (Never mind it’s screaming.) Fill the pot with water and place it on a back burner for later. Turn on the oven.


Take the butcher knife. Butcher the tomatoes in halves, then quarters, then eighths, in time with the metronome. (Never mind the red juice splattering and dripping over the walls. You can clean up later.) Begin plucking the raven. If it protests by tapping its beak on the window, chop off its head. (This will also serve to stop its screaming.) When finished, finely mince the meat after de-boning. Add salt and pepper. Chop the garlic vigorously into many small, irregular pieces, then the onion, and finally the olives, but gingerly place the basil on a soft bed of rose petals pre-set the night before.

Take a break. Have a drink.

Place a pan on a flame set to high and pour in a gushing stream of oil. Listen to it just beginning to bubble, then hurl the butchered onion and garlic into the pan. Wait until the resulting sizzle dies down, the onions will sweat, the garlic ooze away its last drops of flavor. Now shove the tomatoes in and watch as their skins peel away from their flesh, curling up and away from the heat. Stir, and wait as the oil and juices mix into a glistening red sauce. Check on the basil to see if it is resting peacefully.

Take a break. Have a drink. Then a nap. Beware of any nightmares the kitchen odors may provoke.


Wake up with a start. You’ve forgotten to stuff the heart! Quickly, quickly, chop, chop, chop away its extra fat and hard, chewy cartilage and veins to reveal its deep red, er, light green interior, (never mind it’s a vegetable.). Enlarge the opening by pulling, tearing, ripping it by turns, but hurry! The water is already boiling! The pasta! The pasta! Salt the water. Quickly, quickly pour the pasta into the boiling water. Hurry! Stuff the minced crow, olive, rosemary and pepper mix into the bleeding heart. Place in a baking tray and slide into a billowing hot oven for 15 minutes. TURN OFF that gaddam metronome! Stir the pasta, stir again faster, then check on the sweet basil to make sure it’s resting peacefully on the sweet-smelling rose petals.

Now add the pre-cleaned and pealed giant shrimp to the sauce, cook for 4 minutes. Turn off heat and gingerly take up the resting basil and bring it over to pan, and rip it into shreds into the sauce. (Just enough basil, never more.) Mix in the pasta after straining. Remove the giant artichoke heart from the oven and place in the middle of a large serving platter and dish out the pasta around it. Place the raven’s head on top as a nice decoration.

The real recipe:
4 artichokes
Chicken broth
Grated Parmesan
3-4 crushed garlic cloves
20-24 cherry tomatoes
Chopped parsley
400 grams of maccheroni
8-12 medium-sized shrimp
Extra-virgin olive oil

Serves 4.

Don’t try this recipe at home. But if you insist on doing something similar, clean 4 artichokes and chop them into 16th’s, placing the pieces into a bowl of lemon ice water to prevent them from browning. Then place them outside-down in a large saucepan filled by a layer of chicken broth about 1/4 –1/2 inch deep, grate some parmesan cheese over top, cover, and cook on medium to low heat until the artichoke pieces are tender all the way through. In the meantime place a pot of salted water on to boil and flavor some olive oil in a sauté pan on low heat with a few crushed garlic cloves. Remove the garlic after 2-3 minutes. Slice 20-24 cherry tomatoes into 4th’s, and then finely chop some parsley. When the artichoke hearts are ready and have been drained and the pasta, (400 grams,) is 3 minutes from being done sauté 8-12 peeled medium-sized shrimp on high heat, adding the cherry tomatoes a minute after. Drain the pasta and mix along with the parsley and artichokes, sprinkle with a little extra-virgin olive oil and serve immediately. Decorate the table with the rose petals if you must. Accompany with a medium structured white wine. Serves 4 people and one raven.

link- An E.A. Poe feast – https://foodinbooks.com/2016/07/25/the-pit-and-the-pendulum-by-edgar-allan-poe/

….on sale at Amazon (for less than a price of a bowl of pasta): The Pasta Papers vol. 1: the pasta papers

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