We human beings are walking vessels of constant reception.
We receive visuals of the extraordinary world around us with the wonderfully colorful eyes we’ve been given; we receive the various sounds of the spaces that surround us with the sometimes-funny-looking and shapely ears we have attached to the sides of our heads; we receive fragrantly sweet, fresh, pungent or even repelling scents with our uniquely sculpted noses, and we receive the sensation of the feel of our world through touch, with our skin.
And of course, one of the most delightful and pleasurable forms of reception is taste, which through our tastebuds, offers us the opportunity to participate in the life-sustaining experience of eating in an amazingly vibrant and enjoyable way.
A human is a being of desire, a being of intense longing to receive; but truthfully, this is only half of who we are.
There is another part to us, a part of equal importance that goes perfectly like a puzzle piece with that desire in us for reception, and that piece is giving, or bestowal. And it is only when our intense desire to receive becomes coupled with the addition of a desire to bestow upon another that we then become a complete, full-circle human being—the greatest version of our self.
What we then contain is a desire to receive for the sake of bestowing; in other words, “taking in” so that we can then allow it to flow out of us and into another for their benefit, as well. But it all begins first with the desires we bring to one another.
As someone who’s life passion is cooking, I was recently thinking about what a wonderful thing it is when I am preparing a comforting meal for a guest who has a desire to receive the food that I have joyfully prepared, as opposed to someone who is not hungry, or does not want what I am offering.
When someone comes hungry, and they arrive with a willingness and enthusiasm to accept the warming and soul-infused Fettucini in Spicy Sausage & Roasted Garlic Bolognese that I have lovingly prepared for them, I then have a vessel to fill (their appetite), and a space to provide bestowal; and they, too, in-turn, are fulfilling my desire to nurture, by providing me with their appetite. Both of us bring our desires to the table, and both of us also give something back to the other that was deeply fulfilling.
In essence, what each one of us are is a vessel that becomes filled in order to then give of what we’ve been filled with. If we only kept what we were filled with, there’d be no room left to continue to receive—we’d be full!
Imagine a pitcher that is filled with water that never gets poured out into empty glasses. After a time, that once-fresh water will stagnate and become green and poisonous, and good for nothing; but if the water that is added to that pitcher is constantly being poured out into glasses (that are then in-turn also being drunk from), then it creates the space for more water—newer and fresher water—to continuously be added. The cycle is optimal, and healthy for all.
Our desire for reception is only half of what makes us a complete being; it’s when bestowal is added to that desire that we become whole. It is being filled and then pouring out onto another, so that we may then be filled again.
There is a cycle of inhale and exhale in this realm; of intake and output. And when we live our lives based on these natural laws of give and take (or take and give), then we begin the process of becoming balanced.
Sometimes, being the hungry guest is what is called for; and other times, it’s all about being the good host. Are we willing to be both?
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
Fettucini Pasta tossed in a Rich, Spicy Italian Sausage & Roasted Garlic Bolognese with Wine and Fresh Basil, topped with Shaved Parmesan
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves about 4-6
• 3 whole heads garlic
• Olive oil
• 1 onion, finely diced
• 1 celery rib, finely diced
• 1 large carrot, finely diced
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
• Black pepper
• 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• ½ teaspoon dry oregano
• 3 ounces tomato paste (about half a can)
• 1 cup dry red wine
• 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
• ½ cup half & half
• 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, plus extra leaves for garnish
• ½ cup grated pecorino Romano or parmesan cheese
• 10 ounces fettucini noodles, cooked and held warm
• Shaved parmesan, for garnish
-Preheat the oven to 400°.
-Cut the tops off of the 3 heads of garlic, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and wrap tightly in foil; place the foil-wrapped garlic heads into the oven to roast for about 40 minutes, until soft, sweet and golden-brown; once roasted and slightly cooled, squeeze the cloves from the papers, and mash into a paste; set aside.
-Place a large dutch oven or heavy bottom pan over medium high heat; drizzle about 3-4 tablespoons of oil in, and once the oil is hot, add the chopped onion, celery and carrot in; stir the vegetables and allow them to cook for about 10-12 minutes, or until softened and golden-brown.
-Next, add the one clove of minced garlic in, and stir; once it becomes aromatic, add the spicy sausage meat into the mixture, and stir, breaking it up with your spoon into smaller pieces; cook until the sausage is cooked through, about 5 minutes or so.
-Add a couple of pinches of salt and pepper, and the dry oregano and Italian seasoning, and stir in.
-Next, add in the tomato paste, and stir, allowing it to cook for about 1-2 minutes to cook out the raw flavor; add in the wine and allow it to reduce for a minute or two, until thickened.
-Add in the crushed tomatoes, the half and half and the reserved roasted garlic “paste”, and stir together to incorporate (it may look like it slightly curdled, but it will blend in nicely while the sauce simmers), then place the lid on partly askew to allow just a little steam to escape, and simmer the sauce on low for about 30 minutes.
-Finish the sauce by adding in the chopped parsley and basil, plus the pecorino Romano or parmesan cheese, and stir to blend; check the seasoning, and add more salt/pepper if needed; then, add in the cooked fettucini, and using a pair of tongs, gently fold the pasta with the sauce; drizzle with a little additional olive oil for a bit of extra richness and gloss.
-Serve in bowls garnished with torn basil leaves and shaved parmesan, if desired.