Life is a combination of magic and pasta.
Image from here
I didn’t plan for this, but I am having a Week of Pasta. Lots and lots of pasta. Yes, even for breakfast. Penne, fusilli, spaghetti… don’t you love the fact that pasta comes in all shapes and sizes? I sure do. This is also one reason I sometimes think pasta is more fun than rice.
The other night, 8 us partook of pizza, wine and pasta at Cosa Nostra. Some of us were meeting for the first time (brought together by G coming to visit and hosting this dinner) – but we duly introduced ourselves and had a jolly time. It was too good to sprinkle dainty shreds of parmesan on my plate, twirl spaghetti alla puttanesca around my fork, taste the salty anchovies and olives in a sweet tomato base… it was a huge plate of spaghetti and I was regretfully unable to finish it.
Since then, though, I haven’t wanted to stop cooking pasta. Pasta has been present on my stove, in my bowl; clinging loosely to my fork, beckoning always from the cupboard. It’s odd and great at once. I’ve been dressing my pasta with a variety of concoctions involving garlic (of course), lanky asparagus, roughly chopped vine-ripened tomatoes, bright shiny capsicum, neutral zucchini, sweet baby peas, mellow red wine, parmesan flakes and basil.
I make no fancy restaurant pasta, but I enjoy it. I walk in to the kitchen, pour the pasta into a saucepan of salted boiling water, chop the vegetables and make some form of pasta dressing in the time the pasta takes to cook – et voilà, 12 minutes later, the dish is done. And it is wonderful.
Food is powerful, I think, in evoking moods and memories; in touching the layers of one’s soul. Sometimes, while chopping up tomatoes, I think about the way my Granddad taught me to eat fresh tomato wedges with sugar on top. When I add sweet basil on my finished pasta, I think about my failed attempts at growing fresh herbs (sigh!). As I twirl my spaghetti, I can’t help but feel a sense of joy because while I can only make vague attempts at cooking real Italian food, the essence of Italian food itself speaks to me of family, of tradition, of seasons, of a feeling of wealth, of laughter, of living. I enjoy it when I am happiest, and it is like a friend to me when I am not as happy.
Oh, the multi-layered, complex language of Food that transcends anything I could hope to describe in one blog post!
I hope you are having a beautiful weekend, wherever you are.
Because of the food allergy issue I am unable to eat the traditional past dishes anymore. It was quite depressing at first because I am the pasta lover that I am. i could literally eat pasta for every meal of the day. Thankfully, I have found a gluten free Quinoa pasta that I love and am able to substitute it in most of my pasta recipes. Yummy. It’s ALWAYS pasta weather! ;)
I love the Fellini quote, I adore pasta, and I also share those memories that sneak up on you when cooking. My dad was a farm boy (who couldn’t wait to leave the farm), but he never left his love for fresh veggies. My sisters and I used to roll our eyes as he forced us to help freeze freshly picked corn, and he’d remind us how happy we’d be in the winter. Years later…guess who shucked, blanched, cut, and froze six dozen ears of corn in honor of my dad’s memory? Look forward to reading more of your site. (And I’m definitely making pasta for dinner!)
Thy – I would find that difficult! I am so glad there are good gluten free alternatives available and that are being developed too!
Julie – thanks for visiting and for leaving a comment, haha it’s funny how those things work – I know what you mean there! 6 dozen ears of corn sounds like a tremendous lot, I can hardly imagine it :-O
It’s the weather for it: I’ve been boiling asparagus until just cooked, zesting a lemon, tearing up some mint and chucking it all through spaghetti with lots of olive oil and salt and pepper, followed by a scrape of parmesan. It’s spring on a plate and I find it difficult to eat anything else.
Totally with you on that one! Yum, I love the way you describe it.