An ode to spaghetti

That’s literally all this is gonna be. 😂

I’d like to be sensitive about clinical OCD, but honestly I wonder if just how pleasing this dish is for me is due to a very strange personal umami. This isn’t going to be for everyone.

I’m a tiny 5-foot-who-cares girl who can certainly eat when it’s time to and I like the food. Otherwise, sure I can eat “like a bird.” Way subjective. So here’s why I say this isn’t for everyone: I love the half order spaghetti and meatball (just one) at Maria’s Italian Kitchen. Marinara, not meat sauce. Straight, no parm.

Fruity, al dente, hearty, clean, comforting.

Here’s the weird part: I LOVE meat sauce, and ohhh parmigana is a beautiful thing. (Had it shortly before—shaved, soaked in brown butter and balsamic atop succulent caramelized brussels sprouts, flanked by crispy pancetta.)

But I get a weird peace from refusing what aren’t even frills for this favorite meal. It’s one of my favorite meals, but sometimes it’s my FAVORITE meal. You’ve seen the menu, the delivery—the huge portions that are a staple in America, no matter what they are. But I can finish this plate of pasta and sauce off perfectly, and it gives me such pleasure not to waste, not to linger with excess.

You know, that feeling of “just enough.” I love that feeling. Just enough time to make it over here. Just enough leftover ribbon to tie a gift. Just enough encouragement to get through a hard thing. Just enough, and nothing more.

My 8th grade English teacher bade us farewell with an Irish blessing,

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.

I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys make you smile.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy you want.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you have.

I wish you enough hello’s to get you through the final goodbyes.

Now that I factcheck it, I’m convinced it’s the random almost-grandmas on Facebook creating and sharing this… HAHA oh well, the sentiment is timeless, and our hearts as humans don’t really change over the course of history.

Beyond this silly delight, Maria’s has just been a home for so long, and I’d basically eat anything off their menu. Once upon a time as a tiny child, all I wanted was rigatoni with butter and cheese. Equally concise, the half order of spaghetti is this 20-year-old’s bread and butter—or well, olive oil.

So I’m wondering today, what little things just make you bubble over?

Image via my Instagram @melaniespoon

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