One evening about three decades ago — in what seems another world, and probably was — a friend joined me and my wife-to-be for a supper that, despite the gulf of time that has opened between then and now, retains its simple delight in my mind.

Back then our friend was, like me, a political correspondent for a daily newspaper, though I much suspect that as we set about sharing the various supperly tasks — assembling the caprese, minding the simmering bolognese — politics could not have been further from our minds. I can’t really remember if that is true, but my hunch is that I am right...

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