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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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If I cook for you, you’ll like me?

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