Now, I’ve met people who mix their pasta shapes (pre or post cooking, it’s all the same) and I have to say I don’t much like the way they live the rest of their lives either. No good can possibly come from abandoning oneself to entropy in such small details.
My ambivalence about pasta has its roots in several soils. I find it incredibly annoying that the best pasta, in terms of texture and cohesiveness – must be made from wheat, that evil grain which bloats and tires us without our knowing it, that has made so much of the world dependent on it. I have tried rice pasta, not satisfactory at all, as well as corn pasta, somewhat better, and chick pea pasta – just plain weird, but nothing approaches wheat for that bouncy glutinousness. I never order pasta in restaurants because I refuse to pay through the nose for something I could cook for myself in 20 minutes. And therein lies the rub. Pasta, so easily cookable, almost anyone can do, it’s everywhere, ubiquitous. Somehow dull.
Maybe we’re just not doing it right. I didn’t eat much pasta while I was in Napoli, they do rather specialise in pizza and gelato – a diet for the soul if ever there was one (“gelato will fix that” and “gelato’clock” being the phrases of last year). But my kind host did make a dish which I still like to cook from time to time. It was simple yet bursting with flavour, the pasta providing the necessary carbs to fill one’s greedy stomach rather than distracting your attention from the sumptuous sauce.
The names of pasta which sound so quaint to us must be either barely noticable to the Italian-speaking, pasta-consuming population of the world, or slightly disturbing. Imagine if we English-speaking pasta consuming peoples ate bells, pens or butterflies. How would we feel about tucking into a plate of little hairs, worms or faithful ones?
Today, my plate of little cut ones was loosely based on a recipe which, if the writer is to be believed – and she gives me no reason to doubt her- comes all the way from Italy. Incapable as I am of following a recipe word for word, I felt I needed to tweak it a little by adding one of those bulbs of fennel and some of that wine. Deliziosa…
“Ah mushrooms!” I hear loyal readers exclaim. “They must have been in the veg box…” Well, yes there were mushrooms in the veg box but having committed the unforgivable sin of not storing them correctly, half of them went soggy and became unusable to the likes of those who find soggy foods unhandleable. So to the supermarket I went to find replacements. Something I prefer not to do with my time, mostly because I think everyone else should just know where I want to walk and get out of my way but also partly because it reminds me, every time the fury rises in response to their audacity in moving the garlic from next to the onions to a new patch adjacent to the ginger or some other inconceivably sinister misdemeanor, it reminds me how I am destined to become my mother. An uncomfortable feeling for anyone in such a situation.
FRPs for letting the mushrooms spoil: -1
Fitness points for cycling and running this morning, and managing 10 minute laps in the cemetery even though it’s been an ice age since I last exercised: +2
CRPs for not doing my homework (as if I’ve had time): -1
edit…GRPs for forgetting it is a Sunday and the trains don’t run the same (will I get to work in time to change?): -1
Total so far…
- Karma: +2
- FRP: +32.1
- Relationships: 0
- Family: +2
- Friends: +6 [Supplementary PPs: +2]
- Career: +7
- Fitness: -9
- General: +3