Spaghetti

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Spaghetti carbonara.  The cacio e pepe I ate under a load of scaffolding in Trastevere – a pasta dish so simple, it almost can’t be bothered to exist, and yet so obviously delicious it’s like a miracle. A Venetian thing with pine nuts, capers, sultanas, onions and sardines that makes me feel wild for having all the wrongest things in the cupboard in my bowl together. Puttanesca sauce on anything. The fact that it’s called whore’s pasta because it’s so sassy, salty, and so brashly flavourful as to be rude. Fettucine al fredo. Linguine Vongole like a culinary safety net. So glamourous yet reliable and fills you with holiday promise even if you are in a backstreet of Holborn. Pappardelle with ragu made of veal or boar. Oh, any meat is fine, as long as that ragu has taken the meat out, seduced it, got it completely off its tits on Barolo and melted it into a breathless pulp. Malloreddus with crumbled sausage and fennel seeds and chilli flakes. Winning a game of ‘Categories’ with the name Malloreddus. Some kind of glistening, verdant pesto covered in flakes of salt and a parmesan snowdrift. Congealed days-old macaroni cheese. A go-to of Mum’s that still makes us all cloudy-eyed with nostalgic fantasising. We would hunt down the leftovers, days later. Cheap pasta, made in shame. Fusilli with tuna, to much mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. A packet of tortelloni cooked in butter with too much water leaking out. Microwavable lasagna, hotter than molten lava. Disgusting! Necessary.