We have the recipe for a good time, spoiler; it’s great music.
For the perfect Pasta alla Norma you’ll need the following:
- Paolo Contes Sparring Partner on repeat at moderate volume.
- An aubergine
- A can of finely chopped tomatoes of the highest quality
- Tomato paste
- A mountain of garlic
- An ocean of olive oil
- Basil, salt and pepper
- Your favorite Italian hard cheese.
- Bottles of organic Italian wine
This is how you do it:
- Put on the water for the pasta and put in more salt than you think.
- Pour yourself and your guests a glass of wine.
- Approach the cooking like Conte is approaching the song – casual but an underlying sense of dead seriousness.
- Fill up the glasses.
- Chop the aubergine into cubes and put salt on them.
- Sing along in the “ta ta da, da da di” to your guest’s delight.
- Makes someone chop that mountain of garlic while you explain in detail how you would change the production of the song, how you can’t really stand the sound of the drums and the bass.
- Let the garlic swim in an ocean of olive oil with some basil on low heat with an arbitrary amount of tomato paste.
- Pop another bottle of wine
- Wipe off the water and salt from the aubergine
- Explain to everyone why Pippo Inzaghi might have been the greatest forward that ever lived. Vividly mimic Pippos expression when caught offside.
- Wine time!
- Put in the chopped tomatoes.
- Be unresponsive while you salt and pepper that sauce to perfection. Loudly explain to everyone that this sauce is as perfect as the Godfather part 1.
- Play The Godfather soundtrack too loud and make everyone understand how good it is.
- Speak fake Italian English for a good 15 minutes. “Ciao how-a are due doing, some-e more-e vino bella”.
- Conte’s Sparring Partner again
- “Da ta da, da da di da da da”
- More wine!
- Make someone grate the cheese.
- Change your mind – the drums are perfect and that bass… WOW! How could you have missed it!
- With a bit of luck put on the penne.
- Go into details about how there will never again be a footballer in the same class as Andrea Pirlo. Tell every anecdote about that genius that you know.
- Fry the aubergine in another ocean of olive oil in a very hot pan.
- Think you know the words and sing along.
- Wonder where everyone went.
- Put the aubergine in the tomato sauce with some more basil.
- The penne is al dente.
- “Ta ta da, di da da”
- Plate like a pro and put that lovely cheese and some basil on top of every plate.
- Still wonder where everyone went.
- More wine still.
- Dine alone, watch youtube clips of Andrea Pirlo, and sing along to Paolo Contes wonderful Sparring Partner.
- “Ta ta ta, di ta ta”
I remember cooking with Roobin.
Back in our university days Roobin and I were off and on flatmates but whether we shared a kitchen or not we often cooked and ate together.
Roobin used to have this big ass cast iron pot. It was perfect for everything. You’d fry something in the bottom of it and then you’d add stuff from the fridge ‘til you had a meal. We were firm believers in Joey’s rule of good + good = supergood.
On the stereo, we’d have an assortment of indie rock and punk classics. I’d be hard-pressed to siv out any one song in particular from this, so I’m not going to.
Instead, I’ll go for a song which we most likely didn’t listen to back then but we could and would have if we had known it. Both me and Roobin took the class ethnomusicology which spurred on our joint love for world music. A guy we could have come across in doing so would have been Alick Nkhata, together with Hugh Tracey he documented traditional music in Zambia after the second world was. On the side he also had a pop music band influenced by American r&b, the Lusaka Radio Band. I love their tune, Maggie. That tune perfectly captures my nostalgic memory of those hours spent in the kitchen and the easy-going atmosphere we had. It doesn’t hurt that this is a tune that I love to have on nowadays when I do kitchen chores.
… and for our next task, we will find a tune that…
…both you and your parents like.
Most people inherit most of their taste from their parents. This is especially pronounced when it comes to food. However it seems the opposite is true when it comes to music. In fact we were wondering, is there even any significant overlap?
See you in 14 days!