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.