Last night’s vegetarian creation was a simple Spaghetti al Arrabiatta which in its description promised to be one of the most delicious yet simple pasta dishes I had ever tried. The claim of simplicity was certainly a valid one as the dish can be made in around 20 minutes, but the recipe and the resulting dish were not really to my taste. The recipe calls for a copious amount of olive oil. I know it is meant to help form the sauce, but it was just far too oily for me. I do like the use of fresh tomatoes, however I think that the very short cooking time does not allow the flavours to develop sufficiently and the resulting sauce is a bit flavourless and watery even once reduced for 5 minutes. As a rule I will cook tomato-based pasta sauces for at least and hour to allow the flavours to develop and enrich, this is just a personal preference and may be one that is not widely shared, but it is one that left me rather dissatisfied with this dish.
I am looking forward to tonight’s dish, for more than one reason. It is a goat’s cheese, spinach and mushroom cannelloni with a tomato sauce, which I am sure will be lovely. And, I won’t be eating alone for the first time in a week as my boyfriend will be back from his week away. There is something rather demotivating I find in cooking fo one and then eating alone. It takes me a lot more effort to get up and cook when I am by myself than if I have someone to cook for, but I think that I have done well this week and made a courageous effort! It does help that I do really enjoy cooking, and I find comfort and solace in the kitchen in front of the oven or behind the stove. I think it helps me forget what an unremarkable job (I can’t honestly call it a career) I have. I can pretend I am living back in the old days when the woman ran the house and had all day to make cakes and biscuits and dinner for their family, and was looked after by her husband and did not have to worry about awful things like money and career and being a professional failure. I know it may sound terribly old-fashioned but feeling inadequate and unremarkable and unaccomplished in my job, which is where I have to spend most of my day from Monday to Friday, is a horrible feeling and I do sometimes wish I didn’t have to worry about it. So I try to get my sense of achievement in other ways, in cooking and creating – and sometimes that helps cool the burn of shame I feel from my professional failings.
Time to stop moaning and look forward to my dinner tonight.
Until then, happy cooking.