Spaghetti alla Murakami (and a fresh piece of satire on the side)
Below find a free recipe and a link to my latest short story, published by Eksentrika -- an Asian Arts and Culture Community based in Kuala Lumpur.
THIS TIME AROUND I’m just redirecting traffic as I have a new piece of satirical fiction available to read. Just click this link, set aside 12-14 minutes of your day, and you’re good to go.
The story is titled ‘The Year of Living Haruki-Murakamily’ but as the nameless narrator assures readers in the beginning: “Don’t worry. You don’t have to have read much of Mr. Murakami’s work to understand the gist of this. I certainly haven’t.”
So, yeah, it’s not a parody of the man’s oeuvre. There’s a little bit of (deliberately cliched) ‘Murakami bingo’ at the beginning. But really the story’s an exploration of wilful isolation in this digital age, amongst other things.
In the story, the narrator mentions he has devised his own pasta tribute to Mr. Murakami. In an earlier version I had actually included the recipe for this ‘poor man’s amatriciana’ in the text, so, lest it be lost to world, here you are:
Spaghetti alla Murakami for One
Olive oil, a few glugs
As much spaghetti as you’d like to eat (avg. 80 to 120g)
Half an onion
Pork pieces (porchetta, preferably, but the Japanese cured pork from Citimart is fine, too)
Half a glass of white wine. Two cups, or so, of passata
Salt, pepper, chili flakes, and some basil leaves, if they haven’t gone soggy and brown in your fridge.
Cheese (parmesan, usually, but other smelly hard cheeses are fine, and I have just used a nice mature white cheddar – sue me, it’s salty, its cheesy, and as long as you don’t put a picture of it on Instagram, NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW)
Add a pinch of salt and pasta to boiling water
Cook everything else except the cheese in a pan. Oil and onion first, pork second, wine third, then passata.
Drain the pasta, add to pan.
Place everything in a bowl, add cheese, and the basil if it’s edible.
Serve with a glass of wine, white or red, the cheap Chilean stuff, or cranberry juice on non-alcohol days. You should probably have some greens on the side. Broccoli. Spinach. Asparagus. Whatever.
Also, as you cook and eat, consider listening to something Murakami-ish. Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, The Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, etc. He’s fond of the classics. Did someone go to the trouble of creating a Spotify playlist with every single song mentioned in every single Murakami story ever published? Of course someone did — see here. Some people really do need to a get life. Me especially.
I had to look up passata
Lovely story. I especially like: 'aren’t we all constantly filling in the blanks of other people’s lives and probably getting nearly everything wrong?' It feels like some old wisdom I should have seen before but it's desperately true.