I take an enormous amount of pleasure in that wet, squelchy sound that happens when you stir a sauce through a pan of hot pasta. I’m always surprised by how much I like it because wet, squelchy sounds are normally unpleasant, but that’s the power of association, I suppose. There are few things more comforting than a big bowl of creamy pasta, and that’s what I think of when I hear that noise. It works whatever the sauce and whatever the pasta, but the best combination involves a cream or milk-based sauce and a tubular pasta variety like macaroni or spirali. As always, some of my love of this sound is bound up in memory: the sound of nearly-dinner-time, standing in the kitchen while my mum finished cooking, and countless evenings curled on the sofa with macaroni cheese. When I’m cooking now, I take a moment to indulge in the pleasures of the sound: the soft bubbles of air as the sauce catches in the tubes; the warm, wet sound of pasta squashing beneath a wooden spoon… it’s all filled with anticipation: soon there will be pasta, and it will be hot and delicious.
Monkey by Clive Wesley Dennis