Sunday, August 17, 2008

Pasta with *breadcrumbs* and sensory perceptions

Okay - I admit that I'm a foodie. I love food. Not lots of it - but fun variations on food. I like cooking. Not the day to day grind of it, but the idea of taking some raw ingredients and making something totally unexpected from them. Synergy, as my art teacher might call it. Shopping for ingredients is lovely. I'm quite fond of the Italian rhythm of daily life - go shop for whatever looks good today and make something with it.

I also love watching cooking shows. Giada de Laurentiis and Mario Batali are two of my favorites. Giada is so sweet and fun to watch but not terribly authentic. Mario is great for very *authentic* Italian food. So, Giada did a recipe recently - Rigatoni with breadcrumbs. I tried it tonight. Sort of. I used some tomato sauce with red peppers and garlic - which I heated in a pan with olive oil. I didn't use Italian croutons but rather Italian breadcrumbs - along with some roasted almonds and toasted pinenuts. I mixed the breadcrumb mixture with the cooked Rigatoni in a bowl, then poured the heated sauce over. It was actually really good. We had it with a nice Vernaccia.

I especially like how easy and quick it was. I plan to make this again. Although, I suspect it will never be the same as the way I made it tonight. I don't much follow recipes - I tend to just add things that smell right.

I love cooking - it's such a sensual experience - taste and texture and smell and sound and sight and kinesthetic pleasure. I never believed much in just 5 senses - there's kinesthetic sense (which I've gotten better at over the years) and sense of time (which I'm not good at)...

If I were better at planning, organizing, and sense of time, I might have considered doing cooking more seriously. But really, I can only handle about one course... and even "sides" can be challenging for me at times. At one time, I raised vegetables in my garden, canned, and baked the daily bread for my family. I briefly flirted with the idea of a small business making bread - I love the feel of kneading the dough - it's so *alive*. Nurturing it until it's ready to bake, then pulling it out of the oven and slathering that first slice of bread with butter. Oh yes. My children, to this day, are fans of the "heel" of bread. But bread takes love and attention, attention I don't have much these days for anything but schoolwork and trying to keep the house from imploding under the clutter.

In the meantime, quick delicious dinners from a few simple ingredients is just the right touch of "home-made" for my life.

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