Nail Your Day Off By Thinking Like An Italian Prostitute
Wednesdays are my day off from my high profile 'job' as a waitress,
a 24-hour period of leisure guided by a strict itinerary of forced relaxation and to-do lists of tasks geared towards becoming a member of the real world.
I generally wake up, make something for breakfast that isn't a bowl of cereal, and watch the Today Show until it's time to go to yoga. I ~decompress~ in a class with my favorite teacher who makes you rock on your back like an overturned fat puppy, come home, ~recompress- under the job hunt, and try to prepare something nice for dinner.
Last Wednesday I planned on making pasta with puttanesca sauce, a staple recipe in my repertoire, famous among all three of my parent's friends.
I've made it a million times and, as a Type-A overachiever, felt the need to do more as make to my day off the pinnacle of productivity. Thus, I decided that I would also attempt to make spinach fettuccine pasta, *from scratch*, among a laundry list of goals including:
Traveling twenty minutes for a 90-minute yoga class
Getting a hair cut
Driving twenty minutes in the opposite direction to treat myself to a well-deserved Americano coffee from Starbucks
Making a bank deposit
Applying to real jobs, and,
remedying an anxiety attack about my career and future in general due to over-caffeination and under-production
Despite an overambitious to-do list that would require time travel to complete, this was just one of those days where the planets were so out of line that no amount of Activia could ease them back into your favor.
It began when I woke up realizing that I never moisturized before bed.
Our Keurig decided that it would also be his day off, producing "coffee" disguised as brown water garnished with coarse, disgusting grounds, and the Today Show was lackluster at best outside of it being Wrangler Wednesday.
My only saving grace was a front row seat to Tony Soprano discovering hot yoga in shorty shorts and one of those athletic headbands that I assumed was only worn ironically nowadays.
But even this fleeting moment of bliss was literally defecated upon when our dog, Lily, expressed her annoyance at my brief absence all over our kitchen floor.
A full roll of paper towels later, Miarella was finally ready to jump into Lidia Bastianich's recipe for spinach pasta. It was seemingly simple, combining blanched spinach with flour, egg, and olive oil, using a pasta maker to roll it out into thick fettuccine.
I blanched the spinach, sucked out its moisture, took pretty pictures, blah blah blah.
And then the brown rain cloud appeared overhead once again.
The combination of my ingredients produced this pile of green sawdust far from the consistency of pasta dough. I tried adding an extra egg and more olive oil with no avail, and then stared at it blankly trying to figure out my next move.
Should I add water? Another egg?
buy more spinach and Start from scratch?!
With fifteen minutes until my hair appointment, I decided that the only logical solution to this spinachy situation was to say f*ck it, take a selfie, and throw it in the trash.
I like making puttanesca sauce because it's a delicious sauce that's brainless to make. Its name is actually derived from the Italian word, puttana, a loving slang term for 'whore' originated in Napoli.
There a few hypotheses as to why this connection exists, the first being that this sauce really stanks. It has a savory, fishy pungency due to a base of anchovies dissolved in olive oil.*
*I award points to this theory, considering Summer's Eve absence during the Renaissance.
The second popular reasoning is due to the simplicity of the sauce. Dinnertime and thereafter were peak puttana business hours, so this quick recipe was an easy solution for a tasty carbo-loading session before a long night of "work".
So how does a lifestyle amateur use this information to master the art of orchestrating an equally relaxing AND productive day off?
Simply by looking at your day and asking,
"What Would An Italian Prostitute Do?"
Get quick things out of the way in the morning that can be done in a robe while watching Al Roker go on a dissociative tangent,
like sending emails, paying credit card bills, or texting that friend you've been meaning to make plans with since graduation.
Make a list of manageable tasks and organize them into logical bursts that can be done in sequence or in the same location.
If you have long computer work to do, prepare a dinner with a long and slow cooking process so that you can set it and fagghetit while you settle in to a steady ~flow~.
Mia's Day Off 2.0
as guided by prostitute mentality was a roaring success.
I woke up, had breakfast alongside my snoring dog, and checked off a bunch of menial tasks that were rotting my brain grapes over the past week. I skipped out on yoga, but nailed a recipe for shrimp gumbo, and treated myself not one, but two *designer* drinks, quenching my notorious thirst for beverage pretension.
In fact, I am in such a state of relaxation that I trust your skills to tackle Rachael Ray's Puttanesca Recipe, the recipe that I used in learning to make it.
Take the advice of Marcella Hazan, Italian Julia Child to my Julie, by dissolving your anchovies the right way.
Warm your olive oil, remove it from the heat, then add your fishies away from the stove so that they will disintegrate rather than hardening into fried filets.
I added artichokes to this particular preparation, steaming frozen artichokes hearts on the stove,
Discarding of the bulky ends and tossing the tender leaves into the sauce as it came to a boil.
I also ultimately ended up serving it over store-bought spinach pasta. Call me a lazy whore, but trust me,
it was equally SATISFYING as
"the real thing."
ANALYZE & DISCUSS:
find your italian prostitute name:
first name = YOur CHildhood pet
last name = your favorite italian dish
(I am Fluffy Risotto Nero.)