Since about February I’ve been working from home which in my line of work is pretty unusual. I am normally used to traveling for work on an air plane and eating out for most of the week. Since I was spending a lot of time at home I had to find simple things that I could cook since I am not much of a cook. Normally I eat whatever my wife cooks because she cooks really well but most of what she cooks I would probably screw up so I needed something more simple than chicken adobo or black bean spare ribs.
When I went on my first spring break with my wife, I attempted to cook pasta thinking it was a fairly simple enterprise. Boiling water and pasta, how hard could that be? I can say that my first attempt was less than stellar. I had lots of clumps in it and it was way over cooked, needless to say, it wasn’t eaten. Since that time I was banned from cooking pasta for about five years but I have greatly improved my skill in cooking pasta with meat sauce.
My current specialty that I have developed is cooking shell pasta with spicy meat sauce. Cooking the sauce and the meat is actually the easiest part. I don’t have to take care of it and it’s all about cooking the meat till it’s nice and brown and dumping in the sauce and heating it up. The real triumph that I have achieved is perfectly cooking the pasta. Perfect pasta comes out al dente where the pasta isn’t all mushy but just cooked enough so that it’s soft but isn’t too soft. Kind of hard to explain but the best Italian places that I’ve been to always cook their pasta al dente. Normally I need to test the out the pasta to make sure I don’t over cook it but lately I’ve gotten good enough just by looking at the pasta and poking at it with a spoon that I can tell when it’s cooked perfectly. So now I’m eating pasta almost every day, except for Friday’s and weekends because my wife cooks more variety than me when she’s home, but at least now I know I can cook shell pasta on demand and it won’t be all clumped up like it was in 1999. Maybe I need to start experimenting with other foods so I can get some more variety in my diet when I’m home alone.