Let's talk about pasta.
I'm a gin drink in and close to bedtime, so I'll make this brief and (hopefully) concise.
Listen, I don't care how poor and sad you are, you can make this. Napoleons call this the Poor Man's Lunch. It's easy, cheap, filling, delicious and did I say easy? It's stupid-easy.
Spaghetti (I prefer you buy De Cecco or Del Verde, but if you can only afford Barrilla, I won't judge. Not tonight.).
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (the best you can afford. Please, splurge a little).
Red Pepper flakes.
Pitted Black Olives. Diced or smashed. 1/2 -1 can, depending on how many souls you are feeding.
Really good Parmesan cheese. Reggiano is best. Go to the best market and splurge. Please do not tell me you used Kraft shaky-cheese.
Celery minced, if you're inspired.
Fresh flat parsley, coarsely chopped.
Get out a wee little pot. Fill it 1/4" olive oil. Smash and chop your garlic and olives and celery. Add it to oil. Start and keep heat low and slow. Do NOT boil or sautee. Keep it on low. Let the garlic and olive release its aroma. Season to your liking.
Start your pasta water as soon as everything is in the pot*. Bring to full rolling boil, then add spaghetti (adjust quantity to serving) and a generous serving of salt. DO NOT ADD MORTON'S IODIZED SALT. That shit will kill you. Get sea salt. The idea is your pasta needs to cook in salt water. Be reasonable. This is not the Dead Sea. We are talking reasonably salty, not float-on-its-own salty. Stir vigorously to avoid clumps.
After 6 minutes, take a single strand and taste it. Does it sink through til the middle, where the center is a little hard? Then take it out. Drain it and return to pasta pot. Reserve 1 ladle of pasta water. Pour the oil sauce in to the pasta pot with the ladle of pasta water and start stirring over medium heat. Stir the shit out of it for 1-2 minutes, or til evenly coated and texture is smooth.
Pour into pasta bowls/dishes. Dust with cheese and parsley. Eat.
Reserve remains for lunch tomorrow.
(Special thanks to Mr Tripps, who inspired me earlier.)
*Do not put oil in your pasta water. That's stupid.