linguine alla cecca

If you’ve met me in real life, you know that I suffer from resting bitch face (RBF).

I am frequently told by people that I don’t look nice, and occasionally that I am intimidating. I weirdly enjoy being told that I’m intimidating only because I feel uncool almost all day every day.

I knew about the RBF, but recently I had another discovery about my demeanor. For as long as I can remember I’ve made a face that I thought was a close-lipped smile. An example of when I would utilize this face would be at my yoga studio, in the locker room as I pass a fellow yogi. We don’t know each other but I’m expressing that we are friendly strangers who both love a good hot vinyasa.

If you’re wondering what this face looks like, I can show you. Because I made it when I had my photo taken for global entry and was horrified when the card came in the mail.

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I genuinely thought this was a smile. I’m sure you’re wondering how this is possible, as the corners of my mouth are literally turned DOWN. That friendly stranger from my yoga studio probably thinks I’m a bitch and will put her mat as far away from mine as possible. I can’t even think of how many times I have made this face thinking that it was a sweet and casual way to wordlessly greet someone. Not even close.

So in the spirit of things that are cold on the outside and warm on the inside, here’s a quick recipe.


Linguine Alla Cecca

adapted from Heartburn by Nora Ephron

1 lb linguine

5 large tomatoes

1/2 cup olive oil

1 cup fresh basil

1 clove minced garlic

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

salt, pepper

*Note: This probably makes enough sauce for 2 pounds of pasta. The GS ate the leftovers as gazpacho with a grilled cheese. You do you.

**Second note: Apparently this is also called “linguine alla checca” but Nora Ephron left out the “h” so I will, too.

Boil the tomatoes for one minute- this makes them really easy to peel (the skin will just burst open) but they’ll still taste like uncooked tomatoes.


Remove the skin and seeds, and place the tomatoes in a large bowl. Clean up the aftermath.


Add the basil, garlic, and crushed red pepper. I used my immersion blender here, but you could also chop the tomatoes if you wanted it to be  a more chunky, rustic sauce. Add the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours but preferably overnight.


Boil the linguine according to package directions in salted water, then toss with the cold sauce. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper and top with more basil.

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What really ends up happening here is that the cold sauce just makes the pasta a comfortable temperature to eat, rather than burning your tongue like I do with every hot recipe ever. So I guess the cold exterior/warm interior analogy to my personality doesn’t fully translate.


If I cook for you, you’ll like me?

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