Ingredient Number One: Love
They say in Italy that each sauce or each dish comes out differently depending on who is cooking it. Even with the exact same ingredients and measurements. Just the way someone stirs the sauce and connects with the sauce is enough to create a unique and personal outcome. In other words, you can taste the love.
Therefore, there is nothing you can do more to piss me off in the kitchen than to start stirring my food. If the wooden spoon is on the side, it’s there resting for a reason. Americans always come in the kitchen and start vigorously stirring and tasting like it’s some sort of spaghetti sauce rodeo. Whoooooah. Hold your horses people. That is not the way to stir a sauce, not my sauce at least. Actually, don’t touch my sauce at all. It’s mine.
You don’t walk into an artists studio and start slapping paint on his canvas. You don’t go into an operating room and poke your finger in a liver to see what it feels like. Do you walk into the Oval Office, go over to the President’s desk and mess up all his papers? No. Make your own damn sauce.
When you make a sauce, that sauce is your baby. You don’t abandon it. You don’t ignore it. You care for it with all the love in your heart. Thank you, I can now hear all the uppity new mothers shouting in unison at me. Love your pasta sauce like your baby? You don’t know what it’s like to have a baby. My baby needs me. I don’t have time to sit around and love sauce.
Well, if you don’t have time to sit around and love sauce then don’t cook. Cooking is about love. When your baby needs you, that is not the moment to cook. Wait until the baby is sleeping or when your spouse can care for him or her for an hour, or wait until the babysitter comes if you have one. Find peace and use that time to be with the food. It probably will relax you and invigorate you more than you thought. And one day your grown baby will really appreciate it. Trust me.
And yes, I don’t know what its like to have a baby. But I can promise you, I will never stop loving the food I make, even if I have to make it less often. Ingredient number one is love.