Eating Pasta Every Day
We don't think. We just do.
We eat pasta every day, I said.
Roberto nodded in agreement as he washed dishes and I dried.
We used to throw in a day or two—at least one day—without pasta, but not anymore, I said.
And now, because of The Glorious Pasta of Italy by Domenica Marchetti, I'm thinking about all of the pasta we've yet to eat.
It was the book jacket I noticed first. The color. The photography. The typography. The title. I bent down and pulled a copy from the shelf and proceeded to thumb through. My eyes glued. My stomach growling like a pirate plagued with famine.
I thought about it for a second. Do we really need a cookbook about pasta? Not really. I thought about it for a second more. Would it hurt to have a little inspiration? Not really.
Happily, I went straight for the register.
Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Acciughe
Inspiration came quickly. Page 216. Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Acciughe.
An element we've yet to introduce into our traditional garlic and olive oil pasta.
Domenica called for anchovy fillets as well. That we've done, but tomato paste—I found the idea very smart. And very old-school.
I've heard the story many times. While he was a young man in Italy—Roberto's father—sometimes the only thing he had on hand was tomato paste and a huge box of loose pasta. He claims he'd eat a pound, himself, every day. My eyes open wide at the thought.
I asked Roberto if he had looked at the recipe. He had, but didn't remember exactly what was called for. His interpretation was pretty close, though. Instead of the red pepper flakes he used a spicy pepper from the farmers market. And for a bit of zing, a sprinkling of green onion. This would be in lieu of our staple, parsley.
I hovered as layer upon layer of flavor hit the pan.
The instant flood of color (a translucent burnt orange) from the tomato paste upon impact with the pasta, linguine (we already had an open box) had me grinning and anxious to eat. To eat. I was starving. We were both starving. Starving.
And, yes, it was delicious. A little bit beyond, to be exact.
Needless to say, dinner left me feeling—and I'll use the word again—inspired.