Spaghetti became a seven-hour lamb stew that made my kitchen smell like my grandmother's. Each meal was a milestone, every spoonful made me feel like myself again.
You can't overanalyse your day when you're whisking hollandaise or consider the universe while carving a chicken. Cooking creates small jobs that need doing with total concentration. Lose yourself in them. Find your favourite cookbook, pick something that thrills you and begin.
4 pork sausages (about 400g)
800ml passata or tinned tomatoes
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper
A sprinkle of sugar depending on your tomatoes
1 packet of spaghetti or your favourite long and twirly pasta
Plenty of parmesan to serve
2. In a pot or a deep pan put in enough olive oil to cover the base and on a medium heat fry the fennel seeds, garlic and chilli flakes until they start smelling lovely.
3. Add the meatballs to the oil and cook until they are golden.
4. Pour in the passata and turn the heat down to a simmer.
5. Simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened a little.
6. Taste it at this point and season with salt and pepper, add a little more chilli too if you like it hotter and a sprinkle of sugar if the tomatoes are a bit too tart.
7. Boil your spaghetti and once cooked toss it through the tomato sauce with a little olive oil.
8. Pour yourself a glass of wine and eat immediately with lots of parmesan.