Happy National Pasta Day! (10/17)

Pasta will make you feel fat! Even though we boil it till it expands as big as it possibly can, once it gets in the belly, it feels like it’s still growing in there. Of course, it doesn’t help that anything requiring pasta is also necessarily going to require cheeses and sauce of some kind, so by the time the stomach gets a hold of it, it’s just a big funky mess! That’s rarely the mouth’s opinion, though.

The mouth and the stomach are about as different in their rational and reasoning as are a penis and a brain. It’s as if the mouth delights in the exact things that are going to piss off the stomach. Ice cream, sprinkles, and waffle cone? The Mouth says: “How about throwing a little of that hot caramel syrup on top of the whole thing?” A Southwestern scramble, sausage links, hasbrowns and toast? The Mouth says: “Can I get a side of pancakes with that?” Thick pasta noodles, ricotta cheese, mozzarella, eggs and red sauce? The Mouth Says: “Mix it all together with some garlic and then throw a lot of parmesan on top of the whole thing!”

Meanwhile, the stomach’s down there screaming, “And a salad! Can I just get a carrot? Good lord, what is all this stuff? I don’t even see a single spinach leaf in this whole pile of gook. I’ll get you for this mouth!” And sometimes, when we force just the right combination of gook, the stomach does get back at the mouth by making it taste the whole thing again with the addition of its own special spice. A good night of pasta will often create this feeling of revenge for the tummy.

Needless to say, before I delved into my National Pasta Day celebration, I took a Zantack. Had to if I was going to thoroughly enjoy the stuffed shells that I was intending to make. The great thing about boxes of pasta from the store is that, whether it be a box of lasagna noodles, manicotti noodles, or stuffed shells, the recipe and directions for how to make it is right there on the back. You still do have to add a bunch of garlic, though.

Since I’d never made stuffed shells before, I thought that would be a good fit for my inaugural National Pasta Day tradition. I prepared the traditional three cheese version on the back of the box, coating them with marinara and more cheese as the box directed, but I also made a few sauceless, five cheese ones that I topped out with cheddar and coated with some melted butter. I had to make these hybrids as well as a pot of mac and cheese because sauces still don’t appeal to my daughter, not even on pizza. Plus, it is National pasta day, so the more noodles, the the scarier!


A bit of advice to anyone planning to celebrate National Pasta Days in the future, it makes a Thanksgiving style mess! After dinner, my kitchen looked like what I imagine my stomach felt like. I guess I could have just warmed the Stoffer’s frozen lasagna that was sitting in my refrigerator, but that wouldn’t seem right, not on National Pasta Day. That would be like busting out a stack of Hungryman’s turkey and dressing dinners for Christmas. No way!

See you Thursday for National Chocolate Cupcake Day.


About Jim Clark

"If it was worth doing, then it is worth writing!" -- Jim Clark -- Someone else probably said that before, and I'm sure that each semester she starts her Creative Writing 101 class by writing it on the board, but I never took that lady's class so I am taking her quote! I work in the world of advertising, but I write for a living. Here in the second decade of the '00s, we find ourselves in a culture where virtually everyone writes for a living. With all the clicking and clacking on Facebook, Twitter, emails and texts, our lives are more than ever intertwined with writing. At the same time, it's also become increasingly more important to shorten our thoughts down to as few characters as possible. So, now, more than ever, I think it's also important to hold a place in our lives for expanding and honing our thoughts through writing. This is my place for that.
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