Number Three: The Sauce and the Soul

There will be no fancy photos today, no exegesis of horror, no thoughts on the collision between genre and style in A Star Is Born (a classic melodrama filmed in the loose handheld style of a documentary? What could Bradley Cooper be up to by cloaking cornball in cinema verite? Whaaat). Just the raw searing truth of the day. The raw seared truth. Take the truth and allow it come to room temperature, then sear it on all sides in a very hot pan. A tasty skin with a cool red centre. Very palatable truth.

No, there’s not even truth. Just pasta sauce, which I made according to a recipe in Samin Nosrat’s Salt Fat Acid Heat. It turned out her recipe for pasta all’amatriciana required me to make pomarola sauce first as a base. I’ve never had to make a sauce as a first step to making sauce. The whole thing took two or three hours (all recipes in my hands seem to take two-three hours) and turned the kitchen into some kind of tomato murder scene. By the end I felt hollowed out and obscurely damaged. Some part of me struggled to understand what had happened. Does a good pasta sauce secretly require part of your soul? Do we store up our treasures not in heaven but in a fiery arrabiata? Is it harder to strain tomatoes through the eye of a needle than it is for a camel to eat a plate of spaghetti?

Speaking of which, I stopped by the butcher the other day and noticed ground camel meat in their fridge. Is that camel meat I asked the cashier, as if she’d say No, it’s hamburger meat and we’re liars. Instead she said Yes it’s camel meat.

What’s it like? I asked. I’ve heard it’s like moose meat, she said.

You know what, camel-meat vending cashier woman, that’s not helpful.