Garlic Pasta

These days I have been into cooking garlic pastas with fried eggs for dinner.  It’s cheap, quick, and quite tasty.  My breath smells garlicky afterwards, but whatever. Mark Bittman calls it the “mother of all pastas.”  I had a rather peculiar experience this evening while making it.

I was listening to the podcast series called Composer Conversations, a series of fascinating interviews with composers from both sides of the Atlantic, interviewed by equally fascinating composer Daniel Vezza.  Listening to this podcast made the otherwise monotonous job of preparing for cooking feel like a breeze.  But at the very moment I started to fry the minced garlics, I became slightly panicked.  I was so into listening to the podcast that I did not hear the sound of garlic frying.  Such a strange thing to be panicked about, but I was honestly expecting the sizzles of frying pan to emerge.

Perhaps I am the one who is sensitive about hearing.  But as I was detached from the sound of things being fried in the olive oil, I started to feel rather insecure as to whether I was cooking just the right way, or maybe burning everything.  It was the moment when I realized that even in cooking I rely on my ears.  Perhaps it is a mundane thing to realize; of course, any chef would say that one needs to use all his/her senses when cooking…  And I reckon John Cage would agree with such a notion:


As a composer whose job is to “listen, write, listen as I write, write as I listen,” etc., I was reminded of how important that very act of listening is, not just in composition but also in cooking.

My garlic pasta tonight was a bit too salty, but it was still flavorful.