In ALL, FOOD LOVE by Stephanie Klein50 Comments

Tonight I ate a bowl of juicy pasta.  When pasta or pizza are wet, it’s a good time.  This was fresh cappellini with your standard tomato and basil and swirl of parm.  It was juicy, and it made me realize what a good time twirling is.  Pasta twirled on a spoon, as it steams, the fragrant garlic smelling almost of marijuana, is a Sunday activity that ought to be listed in the “about town” section.  More of us should do it.  I miss Italy, where pasta isn’t one of the deadly sins.  The matching accessories, scarves and sunglasses, the lunches with wine.  Shopping, walking, and piazzas with dueling pianos.

On my walk home, after dinner, I thought about what I want more of in my life.  Pasta.  Cooking.  And someone to share it with, even if someone isn’t one person.  Maybe it’s friends.  The problem is, it’s not the same, sharing it with a friend.  It’s just not.  Before dinner, I sat at the theatre holding hands with a man.  I love my friends just as much, but I wouldn’t hold their hands and squeeze them when parts of the movie meant something to me.  I wish it wasn’t different with friends.  I wish I could get that thrill from my friends.  Friends don’t leave.  I wish I could make myself feel the way he makes me feel.  That way no one could ever take it away.  I wish I could make myself feel good like that, excited and hopeful, beyond a bowl of pasta on a Sunday evening.  Even fresh pasta with infused oil and food mill pressed sauce doesn’t give me hope.  Knowing it’s out there for the taking, though, does.


  1. For some reason, the last few sentences of this put me in mind of the myth of Pandora, unleashing from the box all manner of bad things upon the world—including the one thing that we rarely think of as being bad or unfortunate–and that is Hope. Sometimes it is in wanting, in hoping, that we cause ourselves more distress. Yet what can we do? We look for that friend. We go to that movie. We look for that perfect bowl of pasta.

    Never stop wanting. It's wanting that keeps us alive.

  2. To piggie back on Justin's comment, you can then try to re-create the Lady & the Tramp scene. Given the right bowl of pasta.

    (ok I'll keep all stupid comments to myself from here on out.)

  3. Your comments about food and Italy and sharing it all with someone, not just anyone, special really resonate with conviction. As a former fine dining chef and avid amateur photographer and writer I can say that you seem like one of the most delicious, in every sense, and wonderfully difficult women that I have ever not met.

  4. Happy feelings from other people should be called happy fleetings…true happiness is rooted inside us.
    :) Midwest

  5. I have to agree with Justin. Any base of a relationship is 'friendship'. If there is no foundation of friendship, it will eventually collaspe. When the walls fall upon us, we sometimes reach out for that delicious comfort food. Whether shared with family, friends or a lover, enjoy it with *who you're with*.

    You're right. Friends don't leave…they may disappear for a bit, but they always come back as if no time has passed.

    Remember one thing though, no man can 'complete' you as a person. If you are happy with who you are, love yourself, and respect yourself, a man is only make that 'bonus' in your life…not a necessity.

    That goes for men too, vise/versa. ;)


  6. In vino veritas is the latin sentence to speak about the clear way the wine affects your spirit, making it true, transparent. You can see the real person after a couple of wine glasses. So, it could be say 'in pasta veritas' is other way to see the soul of a person, of a coulple, making a communion on the kitchen, with the garlic, tha pasta, the tomatoes, the albahaca, etc. Enjoy the pasta veritas, Stephanie: carpe diem. You deserve it.

  7. Dr. Atkins be damned, but don't go another day without making (and devouring) Pasta All'Amatriciana. There are arguably more sensuous foods out there, but I swear that the application of heat to crushed tomatoes, sauteed onions, hot pepper flakes and guanciale (or pancetta) does something beyond words. Put it over bucatini and add grated pecorino–it will send you into such gustatory overload that you won't care (or probably even notice) if anyone's there to share it with you…

  8. I spend a lot of time in napa – wine tasting with friends on the weekends – and there are times when we're gathered around small outdoor tables, teetering on metal garden chairs, with baguettes and brie, pouring reds and whites, and the laughter lifts from our little circle and surrounds us. I always wish my boyfriend lived here so he could share in these afternoons.

    Pasta for you – wine for me :)

  9. ok, you can share the delicacy of the bowl of spaghetti con sugo di pomodoro, basilico e parmigiano that I have just cooked in my kitchen by the sea in Sicily. But..1) arghhhh…you are banned from eating spaghetti with a spoon!! 2) the sauce will not smell of garlic nor marijuana ..garlic is not good for kissing..and..I don't want you to say that you just kissed me because you were stoned!
    PS..I will make some penne for linus as spaghetti may curl in his tongue ;)

  10. All over the country & the world we all go through the same emotions – at different times, yes…Some are going into a valley, some are coming out and some are just about to go in. How strange that we feel so alone when there are so many others with similar stories?

    Masks are so hard not to put on. But, when we don't – when we laugh when something is funny, cry when we are sad, call someone on a hurtful or judgmental statement – we find out who we really are and who we really do not want to be. Are we afraid of vulnerability because we fear rejection? Yes. I think so. But…nothing good comes from a heart surrounded by thorns. Nothing can get in to hurt, true, but nothing can get in to love either.

  11. We are, ultimately, nothing without dreams and aspirations. The fact that the wretched Atkins corporate entity has (finally) gone belly up gives me hope that a simple dish of pasta – along with the magic that accompanies how it came to be – will no longer be vilified as a source of all those "bad carbs."

    Great imagery, as always. Keep it coming.

  12. Why is it that comfort food feels like spending a lazy sunday with someone you love, giggling, smiling and losing yourself in the moment and the afternoon that goes on until the sunday-night blues pull you back to earth?

  13. True about pasta-however, when consumed alone, it can be the saddest dish in the world-a little lonely. However, garlic, pour cette homme, is a total mood-setter and turn-on. I don't care what Paolo says, garlic consumed in good food is just the scent of passion in food form.

    Friends are like the scent of the seasons-sometimes they stick in your nose for a while, and sometimes the season is just too short, and then it leaves. But it will always be back, one way or another.

    I will think of you tonight Stephanie as I am consuming some of the finest grape of the state of Washington-you really need to try it, if you haven't already. Goes great with pasta and all sorts of viande.

  14. Well, Steph, I could not agree more with Paolo. He lives in Sicily, I live in Milano. However, rules are quite the same: NO SPOON AT ALL! ;o) Twirling with the fork is the big part of the pleasure, isn't it?
    I have been reading your blog for a couple of weeks and I am realizing that being american does not have to be that easy. I spent some time in your country, missing europe so much!
    NY is fantastic, but people are rude. USA show great landscapes, but people cannot walk. They drive. Somehow, your country make people feel lonely and… bored. I think that's why they eat so much, they are often so bad. They are searching for something they cannot get. A deeper satisfaction.
    This a morning thought I wanted to share with you and your online readers.
    Ciao a tutti!

  15. I suppose with each date you learn a bit more of what you seek. Your lists of 'need'/'don't need' grow. You get wined, dined, movied, and dare I say museumed or zooed. I know you wish and hope, but I know you're comfortable and happy. You'll write and I'll read, and that makes *me* happy. P.S., I never mastered the spoon twirl.

  16. I think it's great to learn to enjoy various different things: The wider the scope-the better. And pasta is such a great part of it. I'm happy I've learnt a lot about it in Italy.

  17. Italy is nearer than you can imagine: I read your pages every day in my office in a hotel on the adriatic sea and thanks to you now I can even say I'm a blog-beginner…
    If you want you can ask me any kind of advice on italian cooking or recipes…I'd appreciate a lot(my boy friend is a chef…)!!

  18. Here u are Step….i guess u'll get your porpous!!!…you conquest even Italy!!!
    I reach your url from a journalist frind….and i felt in love with your blog…baybe becouse i have one too..

    i LOVE yours photos…the way you paint anything 'round you
    i LOVE the way u love my country (italy)…

    but you really need some more italian cooking lessons (as paolo and lapogianni said!!)…no garlik on sugo but "soffritto" with onion…

    i'm sure that if u will ever come back to italy..u'll find too many teachers ready to learn rules of italian food!!

    so….waht more??…i'm leaving in 2 day for Puglia…i really hope u'll visit that wonderful and amazing place of south of italy…i'm sure u'll take beautiful pics of that!!!
    in the meanwhile…i'll try to take some with my cam during my holidays!!
    ti aspettiamo in italia…

  19. Hi!or better: CIAO!!!I'm from Italy and me and my sweet boyfriend when we can we love eat pasta and pizza…with a glass of wine…as someone in a post say…"in pasta veritas"…I love Italy and pasta…
    see you in Italy…in Rome!

  20. ..please!! Stop everybody!!
    You made me HUNGRY…and I'm on a diet!
    If I don't stop putting on weight, my boyfriend will leave me and this is not really romantic…
    PLEEEASE STOP!!!! ;)
    Bye bye :))!!

  21. Ciao Lady Manuela,
    Stephanie just called. She can't make it for tonight…she suggested you could come over, have a taste and let her know what you thought.
    Meatballs have been added to the sauce.
    When you get in front of the door, bark. I will know it's you.
    signed: Paolo the tramp

  22. Carbonara? Good idea!! I'm gonna get some!!

    (….don't wanna fight no more……your fault……I kill you!!)

  23. Share a bowl of spaghetti with someone, the right one I mean, is a very romantic moment. I remember a scene of a Disney cartoon "Lady and the Tramp", when they eat spaghetti with meatball…I think it's very sweet and tender.

  24. Why are you so hard on yourself for wanting a true love in addition to friends? A hand to squeeze and all the rest: Who wouldn't want that? He's out there. Go for it! When you find it, it can be every bit as good as you hope.

    I liked your writing better today, because of how you mixed the general and the personal, talked about a particular date, and almost used pasta as a metaphor for love. Yesterday's piece was all generalities. I kept waiting for the specific incident or thought that set it off.

    The marijuana smell? Probably oregano. Back in high school (1970's), a kid in my class did her science project on whether her friends could tell whether they were smoking oregano or pot. They couldn't. The teacher was a little flustered when she gave her report, to say the least…

    One more thing: can I put in a plug for puttanesca?

  25. There are some lyrics, that say "everything leaves after all, no matter how hard you hold on".
    That may be true if someone has got the Alzheimer's disease. However, if you have not, nothing does leave you, never. It all stays with you – in your memories. Can´t you smell the pasta from yesterday a bit, taste it on your lips, still feel, how your fingers twirl the spoon? – All in your memories. Everything will stay with you for the rest of your life, you can still feel it and it makes you what you are….
    Therefore there is no need to mind about things could leave – they never will. The problem is to cope with the fact that a little scene or a whole chapter of our life is about to end and it is about time to turn to the next page, which contents we do not know yet.
    Furthermore, isn´t this, what makes life interesting, makes it beautyful, that it never stopps to change?
    So enjoy your life, every day, just for the day, not for the future, because it is just this single day, this single moment. That is the thing we must learn to deal with, isn´t it?

  26. dude. the ass kissing on this comments page is getting fucking ridiculous. she ate a plate of pasta, likes men she can bone after movies, and it ain't the same with friends. not exactly deep shit. that said, you guys sure are digging. godd luck with the colon exam.

  27. Pasta is so frustrating to me. I eat it once or twice a month. When I cook it, I tend to overestimate how much I will consume. My sauce is so damn good that I eat it too fast, thus eating too much. This is followed by a terrible bellyache and this awful nauseous feeling from the oil. The only way I can get rid of that feeling is a small bit of alcohol. If I have the alcohol, I'm gonna have to put on some hard-bop. If I put on the hard-bop I'm gonna get horny. It's quite a circle. If I overeat pasta, I get bloated…and horny. Make sense? No…

  28. I've never felt the least bit guilty about eating pasta; in my Italian-American family, it's practically a way of life. If the doctor told me that eating pasta would kill me, I'd say "order the casket, baby"; and then I'd order some rigatoni.

    See, and my mother taught me to twirl my spaghetti with a fork, on a spoon. I guess they don't do it like that in the ol' country. Oh, well, it still works for me; with a spoon, its' much neater/less chance of splashing. My mother used to say "Don't eat like an animal, USE YOUR SPOON!"

    And being a native NY'er, I don't agree with the guy who said NY'ers are rude. Most of the time, we're very polite (as long as we're not driving a car – I'm a total road raging bastard when behind the wheel), but we are also very direct and we don't take shit from anyone.

    Spooning regularly,
    the OTHER Chris M

  29. Hey Steph, I just got a chance to really look at your photos. Nice work. I especially enjoyed Linus and your Comfort food series. Some real gems are within.

  30. My husband and I love pasta so much that we are applying for dual Italian citizenship. What better way to celebrate the carbs that course through our veins?

  31. Hey, The OTHER Chris M

    I was a live-in nanny in New York and loved it! No rude people at all! Oh well, except for a few road-raging bastards…:-D Anyway, talking about pasta-eating etiquette the spoon is a definete NO-NO, always! From an Italian point of view I can tell you that it's a very powerful turn off for many people, especially girls. It is something aged people usually do to help themselves with the twirling thing. YAK! I beg you: please don't use the spoon!

    Kisses from Rome

  32. Oh guys…don't miss Italy so much. With a little practice and good ingredients you can make wonderful pasta anywhere! I can help you out!

  33. Shoot makes me miss Italy now. I am going home and making some rotini al pesto. On that note keep hoping. If we never give up will get what we desire.

  34. Wow! I found you listed on the 'Most Bangable Blog Babes' list, and you definitely deserve the #1 spot that you were given! You are super hot! Great site, too. I stuck the link in the URL spot, but can't take credit for the site.

  35. Hey Steph, you could have written blah blah blah, and still you would have had these responses about how your remarks resonated. Blah blah. C'mon people, GET A LIFE!

  36. I thinking wanting it so badly is a beautiful thing. You know, passion means suffering in latin, and that is at least something that affirms you are very much alive. And, do you realize — you know what you want!!! That in itself is an amazing thing to live with, even if it is half pain. Pain is easier to live with than fakeness, guilt about yourself. That's worth it, and better than trying to feel fake, even if the dream never happens. You'll savor it when you get it, and part of that is in the anticipation and dreaming. That is EXACTLY how it happened for me, and I knew I would fight for it as hard as I could if I had to (and at many times I did!). I was as driven as any careerist. I realized I would never care about anything more than that and its realization, and that was my path, no matter if it never worked. I just couldn't fake caring as much about career, social expectations, whatever…..I was shocked at myself – my overachieving, anal, fearful, and often comfortably conformist self.

    It sounds alot like you, and I learned to believe in the power of my goal instead of seeing it as a negative burden. I was not thinking this new age stuff when I was living it, but I was just damn driven. It drove my every move, directly or indirectly, and that became okay…actually it was also refreshing and awesome because it felt taboo, regressive, dependent, like kicking out all the negative perceptions of what I felt naturally. Imagine NOT having that drive, and feeling dead or sold out! Wanting a relationship — it's drilled into us to rise above that, not to depend on others, to focus on ourselves and what makes us happy, blah blah bull**** (that sounds like bah bah blacksheep)– what if people make us happy, and having our own family, and what if nothing compares to that? I'd rather be true to that than try to fight it and pretend there's nothing missing. I'd rather be half angry half happy all day and feel alive doing it than coax myself to be wholly happy. That kind of fake crap always makes me cry all day, because then you have 2 problems – one being your fake self. You're prob. so driven and competitive with yourself, obviously, so how can that not color your drive to be happy? Don't worry! Be crazy intense and angry, get it out, like the Italians! They really have it all over there, between the pasta and sauce and value placed closeness to family & friends, socializing. But we have more ambition over here, so just know what you want and live to go get it! I did so much crazy **** to meet my fiance, and there were years of "practice" in just getting out, having fun, being myself in public! I thought people (other girls) would think i was some desperate chick and a bad friend…but that hardly happened at all, and I think we all just get it! Friends DO leave!!!! – grad school and marriage and jobs – and you can't go out and see a chick flick with your phone.

    Did you watch any of that ABC show Hooking Up? I swear on my own experience that it is hard to date in NY. There are great, but super busy guys with life-consuming jobs, and with a huge population there are a high number of freaks to sift through, too!!!! So just remember that NY takes a higher level of patience and hard work, but it always pays of at a high level, too (hello, your blog!!!)

    I'm getting too girly with the exclamation points. I just want to say we all get permanently down from our past bad experiences because it is our own hard evidence. But just put it into statistical perspective, leave it behind, & remember what & how much you learned, without losing your original vision and your naive desires.

  37. Why do mean, biitchy people who don't want to talk about the subjects here even come here? S**ting on people you don't care about is a really stupid, shallow, sad hobby, and I feel sorry for you. So go write on or the sites invented for hating people. It just looks lame and fake here to announce how you are wasting your own time….I guess it is entertaining for us, though, and you obviously are interested in and drawn to this site. Thanks for caring to let us all know how much you don't care, and for pointing out shallowness from your expert perspective.

  38. Antoinette, get a grip. You sound like some feminazi ***hole, so find another site to talk about how shallow most women are for caring about their looks and emotions. If you don't know that superficial stuff is tied to much deeper issues, and that it is all part of evolutionary theory and biology and sociology…well, there is no hope for you. Your lame and pervasive PC attitude is exactly the reason that Stephanie's voice and writing resonate with most women in the world, at least the honest ones. Go start and pray that one of us even cares to poop on your comment section!

  39. can it possibly be healthy to spend this much time thinking about food??? i think 75 of the 100 things you liked were food too, weird.

  40. Boy, Erika…what I said must have hit a nerve since you decided to comment TWICE on what I had to say. I am not a feminazi and I'm obviously not like all these women who identify with Stephanie's body image obsession and insecurity about everything. I was only "interested and drawn" to the site because I read about it in an article. I check out many blogs for the very same reasons…on recommendation by someone else. I knew that what I said would be picked apart, which is the reason I came back to see what Stephanie's minions had to write. I am not bitchy and I am not dour, I am just extremely irritated with women who think they have to be skinny, wear high fashion and talk about who they screw on their blogs. THAT is the precise reason WHY men treat all of us the way they do, because women do not stand up for the wonderful worthy creatures that we are. If you all didn't let them treat you that way, and if you didn't think it was an honor to be a "bangable babe" then perhaps you wouldn't be commiserating on a blog about how hard dating is in NY or anywhere else for that matter.

    Once you realize that you deserve a man who treats you well, respects you and wouldn't go around telling everyone how "bangable" you are, you will understand what it's like to have someone who will accept you – flaws and all.

    Caring for your looks and emotions is fine, but taking it to the point of where all you CARE about are mostly looks so you can wallow in your emotions about how you are not in a fulfilling relationship or not finding the right guy or wishing you had a man who was like your friend, that's when it's not healthy.

    It's apparent by your comment that you have "superficial stuff tied to deeper issues" and I suppose if someone like Stephanie is making you feel more "normal", more power to her. But I personally would not want to emulate the person she seems to be based on what I've read here on her blog. Again, someone who has an obscene amount of pictures detailing her body and her hair, talking about the "hot" spots she's been and who she's hooked up with there and writing about how wonderful it is to "twirl" pasta because it's obvious something she doesn't allow herself to indulge in often, for fear of not fitting into her size 6's.

    If you wish to emulate someone who, in my opinion, is shallow and has a "voice that resonates with most women in the world", that is your right.

    But it would be extremely refreshing if you and others like you had your OWN voice.

  41. Hi Stephanie. I'm Alessandra, an italian girl and I've just read an article about you… an italian magazine talks about you!!!! Heading "Ciao, sono la donna più cliccata del mondo", that is "Hi, I am the woman more clicked in the world". Congratulations!!! Since today there is another "peeper"! It's me! Good luck!

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