Since I come home after work early in the afternoon, siesta time, I would usually take a nap, read a book, walk around MOA (Booksale or Fullybooked or fashion stores), watch BBC/CNN/HBO, or prepare merienda.
Pasta is my pastime because all it takes to cook it is boil the pasta and prepare the sauce. All in about 15 minutes ala Jamie Oliver. Black pitted olives, parmesan cheese, basil leaves, lots of garlic, and Clara Ole sauce are my favorite combination. Not only does the dish serve a holy treat but it gives our place a coffeeshop-ish aroma.
If you are obsessing over pasta, you would also invest in good oil and cheese, that is, splashes of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of mozzarella. It doesn’t really matter for me what meat I put in, whether hotdog for spaghetti, tuna for pesto, or ground pork/beef for bolognese, because I usually like mine puttanesca style – “whore’s style spaghetti” containing only olives, garlic, tomatoes, and herbs.
When I finished reading a novel called The Food of Love I got all excited experimenting with different pasta: spaghetti, linguine, fusilli, fettucine, rigatoni, and farfalle. The story is set in Italy and I felt like roaming Rome and eating Roman dishes prepared by one of the chef characters. The effect of reading it is unbelievable. A turn on, sensually and gastronomically. I picked up the book at Booksale, because I saw Jamie Oliver’s commentary on the cover: “A fantastic story, you can almost taste the wonderful Italian food.”
The Food of Love also mentions recipes so while following the story, one can easily scoop techniques and ways of cooking simple ingredients such as fish.
What’s delicious in this amateurish cooking pastime of mine is finding out how simple or a few ingredients can turn in a complex harmony of flavors and aroma. I’d like that. Being a simple person of fine mix of tastes.