This week has been crazy and I have been struggling to pick a product that begin with an S. Then I found myself craving spaghetti and meatballs, vegan for us of course. I have always loved eating spaghetti ever since I was a child. Well actually it was Spaghettio’s until I discovered real spaghetti with amazing sauce, but that is another story. My wife, however, enjoys when I make spaghetti with homemade Pomodorro Sauce and vegan meatballs. There is something comforting for people about spaghetti and meatballs.
The thing about spaghetti I have found most interesting is that there is more to its history then I knew. When I think spaghetti, I think Italian and my guess is that most people do. However, it seems that the development of pasta, spaghetti in particular, has its roots in Chinese and Arabic cooking. Maybe that is why I enjoy lo mein so much. It reminds me of eating spaghetti, but without the sauce, which I never liked growing up, until I learned how it should be made, and with the vegetables, which I enjoy. Or why some of my favorite Middle Eastern dishes use some sort of pasta as a main ingredient, like lentils and pasta or a myriad of kugels. While we may associate spaghetti with Italian cuisine today, it has its roots in earlier civilizations and times.
One of the things I like about spaghetti is what its appearance on the plate teaches me about life. If you look at a plate of spaghetti, nothing is laid out in a clear distinct linear pattern. Rather, the noodles are interwoven, interacting with each other, and overlapping each other. The movement of one noodle affects the position of others. This plate of noodles reminds me so much of life. We are all like noodles, interwoven and intermingling on a plate. We may not always even realize we are somehow connected until a certain string of spaghetti is moved and we discover something shifting in our own lives.
The other thing I have noticed about spaghetti is that it is like humanity. Although there are aspects of spaghetti which are consistent across types, there is something unique and different about each plate. When you look beyond the surface shape of the spaghetti, you begin to see the unique and different personalities spaghetti has. The fluid you cook the pasta in affects its taste, how long you cook it affects its texture, as well as the products with which it was made. We have pasta made with semolina flour, those made with whole wheat, those with low carb products, and those made with vegetables and other products such as squid ink. Each giving a slightly different spin on the same thing – spaghetti.
This does not mean that one is better or worse then others, although some would disagree. Rather each strand of spaghetti brings something important to the plate regardless of what it is sauced in, what cheeses it is interacting with, or how it was prepared.
It is like us as human beings – interacting, evolving, unique, and precious just as we are. We are each needed on the plate of life. One strand of spaghetti cannot fill a person’s need. However, when all the strands come together, working towards a common goal, we can change the world, one strand of spaghetti at a time.
Perhaps tonight, I need to remember this day by making a plate of spaghetti and meatballs and remembering how important each of us in this world. Buon appetite!
Should you need some spaghetti recipes, here are a few you can try from my Pampered Chef website