I was born to eat pasta. I have a full-on love affair with the stuff. I crave it more than I crave chocolate. I love it and despite numerous (admittedly, half-arsed) attempts, I cannot give it up. I cannot quit pasta; I just want it all the time. When I’m hungry, I want pasta. When I want to cheer up, I want pasta. When I go out for dinner, I have to talk myself out of eating pasta because I can make it myself at home, but during weaker moments, yeah, I still want pasta.
My love of pasta knows no bounds. I know the paleo ways; I know that carbs, specifically pasta, have a soporific effect on me so profound, that I’ve been known to assume the foetal position and nodded off shortly after consuming it. I know that eating it will make me stodgy and sleepy, but dammit, it’s all I want.
I know that eating lots of leafy veggies and lean meat is the way to a healthier me, I know that salad is, despite appearances, actually quite filling, and I’ve perfected my salad making skills to make an interesting salad rather than a dish full of flaccid leaves and sad slices of cucumber. But I can’t quit pasta.
Even as I type this, I am munching my way through a mountain of pasta. It’s not even an interesting; merely quick-spaghetti, boiled in vegetable stock and covered in a mountain of grated cheese. Quite possibly, one of the most simple, bland dishes to have ever existed and yet, somehow, it just really hits the spot. Every mouthful is a cheese-smothered delight, I don’t need anything more.
Last week, I had spent the entire morning fantasising about a big pile of pasta pesto. As a student, pasta pesto was one of my favourite things to eat, and because pesto was relatively expensive (in student terms) it was also one of the more extravagant dinners I would make for myself.
Despite the evolution of my cooking skills over the last decade or so, pasta pesto is a still a treat, armed with regret. It always seems like a good idea, but it’s only during the final mouthful I’ll admit I’m having second thoughts.
This was especially true last week when I used the remainder of a jar of pesto that was past its best. I’d been fixated on my basil and garlic infused pasta mountain all morning, and such day-dreaming had forced me into being a little optimistic with how long the jar of pesto had been opened for.
My assurance that the pesto was still good waned significantly after the first mouthful. But it didn’t stop me. As I munched through the hot herby mound of pasta pesto I steadily became more aware of the fact that what I was eating tasted like mown lawn and sadness.
Disappointed, yet still hungry, I pressed forth, forcing myself to believe it tasted just as good as I believed it would earlier in the day. Eventually, I could not ignore the sick feeling, and had to abort eating mid-forkful, where I lay back on the sofa and groaned excessively.
Just as a bad hangover prompts many promises and declarations of never drinking again, I vowed I would lay off pasta and only eat salads for lunch for the foreseeable future.
A week later, I’ve fallen off the wagon.