Super Dad Makes Some Noodles

Super Dad Makes Some Noodles

I will not lie.  I thought I was going to be the single greatest father of all time.  The Father of all Fathers like some sort of mystical combination of Ward Cleaver,  Mr. Rogers and Vito Corleone. I was going to be better than my own wonderful father. I was going to avoid the (rather minor, I now realize) parental mis-steps that I spent hours complaining to good old Dr. Spiro about when I was in High School.  I had a Super Dad costume designed and cut-to-order with a cape and a fucking cod piece.

Then real life waltzed in like Fred Astaire doing amyl nitrate. Turns out I’m not such a great father. Maybe no one is.  My temper runs too hot. I yell too much. I’m a terrible, impatient teacher (in fact, my failed attempt at teaching my wife to drive has led to an oft-repeated family imitation of me that goes something like this: JEEEZUS CHRIST…OH MY GOD…GO GO GO!!! Why?  WHY DID YOU DO THAT? ). I realize I have a genuine lack of understanding at how I ever learned anything so how the hell can I teach? (Editors Note i.e. me: My mother is an amazing teacher and taught me many many things including how to drive and in fact taught my wife how to drive. But, I sadly lack her calm, her patience, her poise and her intelligence).  And then there is my own formidable ego and its odd-couple pal, Lacerating Self-Hate (the two of them tend to combine in sabotaging all my clearly defined goals of how to parent.) Whatever issues I had with my own parents seem so petty and insignificant in the face of my own doubts and inadequacies. At best, I am an okay dad.  My kids know they are loved, know that I’ll protect them and hopefully know that I am doing my best. (Note: while writing this my own son told me that I am ridiculous and I should repeat after him: I AM A GREAT DAD)

I am beyond proud of who my children have turned out to be.  They are smart, they are funny, they have genuine warmth in their hearts and they seem to enjoy the every day pleasure of being alive. However, I can’t take credit for any of those qualities.  Honestly, the two of them appeared to come out of the womb as pretty damn great.  The one fantastic thing about them that I can take absolute credit for is that their “comfort food” of choice is not Mac and Cheese.  It is Spaghetti Aglio y Olio. Yup, if they are sick, or weary, or feeling down or just hungry for no reason at all, the dish that they want more than anything is a very garlicky, anchovy laden bowl of pasta sprinkled with fresh parmesan. When I make them the dish, all my doubts about my abilities as a father disappear as I watch them slurp up the last strand and ask for a scarpetta (little shoe) of bread to sop up the excess olive oil and garlic. It is then that I adjust my cod piece on the Super Dad costume.

So, in all fairness, to all Dads or Moms feeling a little down as to their parenting abilities, here is my recipe for Spaghetti Aglio y Olio:

Mince 4 cloves garlic and saute in olive oil until translucent.  Add 2 anchovy fillets, some red pepper flakes, salt, a bit of white pepper and saute until the anchovies break down and become incorporated into the sauce.  Add four or five cherry tomatoes allowing them to heat until their skin splits.  Turn off heat.  Cook pasta  in salted water until right before al dente.  Add cooked pasta to your garlic sauce, add a ladle of your pasta water and turn heat up to high, stirring so water reduces and your pasta in fully coated and a touch creamy.  Taste for seasoning, add some black pepper and a handful of fresh parsley, gild with olive oil and serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Drink a glass of wine and put off recriminations and self-doubt for an hour.



14 Replies to “Super Dad Makes Some Noodles”

  1. Looks so delicious! Any dad who is the least bit concerned about being a bad or good parent is alright in my books 🙂 My comfort food has always been rice with a soft fried egg, soy sauce,sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds. It’s like the bread and butter of Korean food to me. It tastes like home.

    1. Okay, I am not Korean but that’s my comfort food of choice too, the egg over easy with a green onion chopped in and sometimes a touch of chili garlic sauce.

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