Sometimes there’s nothing more comforting than a big bowl of pasta.
There’s no logic to the addiction – it heals, fills and enraptures us with each mouthful. But that’s often the way with food that feeds our soul.
What has pasta got to do with blogging?
Well blogs are like pasta for the mind. They come in all sizes and shapes and cater to all tastes and cravings. But like pasta, blogs aren’t the real ‘point’ of the meal – they’re the inexpensive carrier for a myriad of different content sauces and there’s a lot to choose from and chew on across the web-trattoria.
Food for thought
Blogging is about sharing. So is a meal of pasta.
There are few dishes that can compete with the scientific effect called “yummy,” produced by cooking a simple flour and water dough (or flour and eggs in Northern Italy) in boiling water. Add a suitable sauce and it’s a match made in heaven.
Pasta has long been a food of the common people; some calling it “cucina casalinga,” – home food” – others referring to it as “cucina povera,”or peasant food. No matter what it’s called, no other food is as universally loved. Nor does it induce the same animated expressions of pasta-fervour, with every home cook swearing their sauce is the best. Sound like any bloggers you know?
Being willingly to sit around a table to share a meal, a story and most importantly a part of you, is what food and blogging are all about. Both sit in a place close to your heart, made visible through simple, passionate offerings.
Lubricate, don’t suffocate
Centuries of Italian creativity has shaped pasta into hundreds of forms, flavours and shapes. It’s said that each pasta shape gives the dough a different taste as well as texture.
Just as blogs are the delivery-agents for content, pasta is the ideal carrier for sauces. The delectable pairings of shape with sauce may seem random, but there’s a surprisingly logical process to choosing the perfect shape for a given sauce.
The key to matching shape [blog] to sauce [content] is in the shape itself; the basic principle is like goes with like. And the general rule is that delicate shapes are for delicate sauces while heartier ones are for heartier sauces.
However, beware. Similarly to wine pairing, it’s not always straightforward. Any pasta aficionado will tell you there can be a gapping void between boring and sublime. Getting it right can be the difference between plates licked clean (a tribe around your blog-table) and empty tables.
Judged by mouth and mind
With pasta and blogs you continually bring your passion to the creation-table, to share with the people you love. Nurture each and every person at your table and they’ll be hungry to enjoy your work.
Like food, blogs are consumed. Some are quick, easy snack-food while others are hearty, thoughtful and nutritious. The mind can distinguish between the different shapes and blogs by seeing them. But only in the mouth [on chewing], do they develop their various characteristics; ones that on sight may not have seemed obvious.
My consumptions patterns are likely very different from yours. But here’s a few shape-and-sauce pairings that come to my mind.
1. Long and ribbon-cut pasta: Spaghetti, Fettuccine and Linguini
Long and thin, these are the perfect carriers for fast, easy consumption.
Often made from the freshest of ingredients, the sauce slides off easily and goes down quick, so this suits readers that are there to consume, delight and dash.
Deceptively simple, these meals are very often far more satisfying and provoking than first thought. They often stay with you, slowly sating your appetite and resonating with your thoughts as well as with things you see and hear.
2. Short-cut and decorative shaped pasta: Fusilli, Penne and Falafel
Giving you more to chew on, these twisted striated tubes and fanciful (sometimes even cupped) shapes create more traction and are ideal for catching and trapping readers who want more involvement and community coherence.
They work well with chunky-content-sauces because their holes and grooves catch and hold bigger pieces of sauce; these are often provoking, polarising, engaging, involving and induce devotees.
3. Stuffed pasta: Tortellini, Agnolotti and Ravioli
Gloriously well-filled, these are meatier and really give readers something to chew on.
In contrast to unfilled pasta, stuffed pasta has so much flavour of its own it only needs a simple sauce – so the filling stands out.
Here the filling of the pasta becomes the substance of worth for the reader, delivered by an authority hand. Some may call these offerings heavy, thoughtful and deep; they are often created by curators, opinion leaders and thought starters.
Loved by all, or some
Every palette is different. Pasta and blogs are not judged or measured from a distance, but rather by the tongue and tastebuds. They are experiential. Evolve as your ingredients change but make sure you always serve your readers humble, satiating content.
You may not think of it every time you open a box of pasta, or when you start a blog, but your shape-and-sauce pairings can make your efforts great, or sadly unappealing. Avoid poor choices and you’ll have readers licking your plate clean in no time.
Remember that great blogging doesn’t require restaurant-fancy ingredients or a chef’s hand.
Instead, simple, heart-felt meals served with sauces [content] that complement the shape are the true essence of soul food for the mind.
What do you consume?
Are there particular shape-and-sauce [blog-and-content] pairings that come to your mind; ones that feed your mind and soul?
Share them with us (in the typically animated Italian way) and say why they are the best pairings for you …