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Singing Songs about Spaghetti with Sweet 100 Tomatoes

When I first got to college, three of the first people I met had all grown up together and sung in school choirs for years. Their voices were fabulous. One of the very first nights we all hung out, we were playing music while getting ready. Amidst the rather loud rendition of a Dixie Chicks song, one friend turned to the other and screamed, “She really is tone deaf!!” while pointing at me.

It was a surreal moment as everyone in the room froze, staring at each other. I was sitting on my bed; the two girls were on either side of me. The pointing finger was dangerously close to my face. I finally shrugged my shoulders and nodded that I was. Only later did I question the fact that my horrendous voice was the first thing shared about me between two people that would become two of my best friends. When I did bring it up, my friend simply said something along the lines of “it’s very noticeable.” I apparently made a screeching first impression.

I recently took an online test put together by a hospital with a hearing specialty. The results said that 60% and above were normal; below that was the levels of being tone deaf. I scored a 30%. This was really a relief to know that my headache-inducing voice could be played off as something with a medical label.

I recently purchased a cookbook that lets me sing away in the kitchen. Which is really the best place for a little off-tune singing, anyway. The Recipe Project is this collection of celebrity chef recipe for which rock band One Ring Zero has ingeniously written music. Instead of reading Mario Batali’s short recipe for Spaghetti with Sweet 100 Tomatoes, well, I can just sing along while the CD plays. And no one can complain about my melodic offerings because, hey, I have to get the recipe down, right?

Spaghetti with Sweet 100 Tomatoes
Just slightly adapted from Mario Batali’s recipe shared in The Recipe Project
Serves 4

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 pint sweet 100 tomatoes, or other tiny tomatoes (I used Cherry)
½ bunch chives, cut into 1-inch lengths
24 fresh lemon basil leaves, finely shredded
1 pound spaghetti

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt.

In a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan, heat the olive oil over high heat until almost smoking. Lower the heat to medium-high and add the garlic cloves. Cook for 2 minutes, or until softened and slightly browned. Add the tomatoes, chives, and basil and cook over high heat until the tomatoes are just beginning to burst. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in the boiling water until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the tomatoes. Toss over high heat for 1 minute, then divide evenly among four warmed pasta bowls and serve immediately.

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