Scrounging around the cupboards this weekend for something to cook Anya for lunch, I came across a box of "Pokerina" pasta which I had picked up on my last trip to Italy. I can't imagine you would ever find this pasta shape sold in America, where gentle, benign stars and alphabets rule the day in the realm of miniature pastas. But, there it was on the shelf at the farmacia, and I took some home as a souvenir.
At 17 months, Anya has thrown off her pasta training wheels for some time, graduating to advanced noodling -- rice vermicelli, penne, spaghetti, spirale, fusilli, and orecchiette, among myriad other shapes. But, she still enjoyed these gambling-inspired morsels mixed with butter and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, even if they left her with a bit of a poker face. Ba-dum-dum.