Some people can’t get through a god damned sentence without an emphatic and inappropriate curse word. When I was a young lad (altar boy) draped in the purity of a white robe, I was taught how to express myself without foul language and as eloquently and clearly as possible. A strong adjective should serve the purpose of enhancing a statement. But nothing expresses passion and excitement like some good old unconventional swearing. I learned this from my Catholic parents, who as non-native English speakers needed to call upon other tools to effectively express the urgent nature of their sentiments. My father’s foul language however, often came to us in the disguise of Italian, therefore we were forced to dissect the riddle of “foreign cursing”. What we concluded was that Christopher Columbus and Sodium Bicarbonate (the literal translations) when used in a particular context in Italian, were swears that carried an expression of frustration and intense rage. I shit you not, this is the truth. The man who allegedly discovered our land was a bad word in our home.
My father’s explosive temper, fueled by some of the most mundane and insignificant events, made everything seem so dramatic. His choice of language used to emphasize the grandiose nature of the situation in question was effective, as the vulgarities spewing from his lips instilled urgency and fear in us. But his choice of words came in the heat of the moment, and without a mindful filtration of the language he was about to use in front of his children. We understood this as passion.
Let’s compare the following sentences and their vulgar alternatives and examine which have more of a profound impact:
I’m really horny today.
Holy shit, I’m really fucking horny today!
These tomatoes are gorgeous.
Jesus Christ, these tomatoes are fucking gorgeous!
As you can see, the latter in both examples are unparalleled in their vigor. In example 1, deifying fecal matter and the insertion of the “F” bomb, turns medium grade horny into the possibility of sexual deviancy or excessive promiscuity. In example 2, using the Lord’s name in vain, and again inserting the “F” bomb, turns an average tomato into an object of carnal desire.
Gastronomically speaking, at times, a dish that may sound bland or boring on the contrary is quite delicious and extravagant. Its ingredients work especially well together, a classic marriage of flavors. But on paper, it sounds, well, it just sounds blah.
Today’s recipe is one that I’ve played with over and over with several variations. But the key is keeping it simple. No F bombs, no deified fecal matter, and let’s leave JC out of this.
The easiest and freshest spaghetti with fresh plum tomatoes, basil, fennel seed, orange zest, and pecorino romano. This shit will blow your fuckin mind!
Extra virgin olive oil
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion or 3 shallots, chopped
1 lb. plum tomatoes cut into eights depending on size
1 tblsp. fennel seed
1 navel orange
pecorino romano or parmigiano, grated
salt and fresh pepper
fresh basil, chopped into a chiffonade
1 lb. of spaghetti
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Heat about 1/4 cup of olive oil in an a large frying pan and add the onions or shallots. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until translucent. Add the fennel seed and cook for 2-3 minutes then add the garlic and cook for about one minute or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and all their juices and season with salt and pepper. Toss everything and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and cover. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes have released a lot of juices. Add the zest of about half an orange (or more if you like) and cover again. In the meantime, add the spaghetti to the pot of salted boiling water and cook until al dente. When the pasta is done drain it reserving about a cup of the water. Add the pasta to the tomatoes. Toss it all together until the pasta is coated evenly. Add a little pasta water if you like. Add some butter if you like (I do). Transfer it to a large serving bowl and add the cheese and basil. Stir well. Serve with more passed cheese. It’s so fuckin simple but so fuckin good!! For best results, make this dish when tomatoes are at the peak of their season.
Here’s another variation I made with parsley instead of basil and without fennel seed and orange zest. I added chili flakes for a little kick. I made egg noodles from scratch and cut them by hand. In this dish, the texture of the fresh pasta elevated it from Librarian nerd sexy to pole humping porn star with a Phd in chemical engineering sexy.
Experiment with this dish any way you fuckin please. It’s your fuckin mouth and your god damned stomach. Just be sure to use quality fuckin ingredients and not some shitty ass, pre packaged Kraft parmesan shit. If you can’t follow these simple fuckin rules, you suck at life. I’m not here to coddle you. Good luck!