意大利粉200克、洋葱1/2個、青椒 2 個、煙肉約80克、鹽適量、牛油適量
Yukiko is sitting on a bench in the square and stretching her legs. She hasn’t really stopped walking in the past few days, on all kinds of surfaces from stone paths to pebble paths, flat or rugged. Her legs feel too strained to walk further. She starts to miss the sofa at home; just lie down and let her cat Kisaragi come snuggling on her side. She once imagined her departure from Hong Kong would lead her to a beautiful new world, but it was only after she has really left, she realized there’s no place she actually wants to go.
Milan is bustling in April, people with festive mood are filling up every single street. She can see in their hands bags of product catalogues and souvenirs, sporting prints of home ware brands that she isn’t quite familiar with. This morning Yukiko woke up early to join the crowd to the exhibition halls. To her, moving along with the excited crowd is like being trapped in bubbles, floating in excitement, but fails to experience any actual joy.
‘Are you here for the design week by yourself?’ Looking up when hearing the voice, Yukiko sees a man in his 30s whose face she doesn’t recognize. He seems to be talking in a Japanese accent. Yukiko is attracted by his azure blue suit jacket before taking a good look at his face, because Hatuta also has a suit jacket in similar colour.
“Well… sort of.” She gives him an indifferent answer as she has only learnt about the design week after travelling to Milan alone. She ran away from home almost a month ago, she wonders if Hatuta is panicking.
‘You been to Saloni?’ The man then mentions a few designers’ names and his opinions. Although Yukiko tries hard to listen to his words, her mind is completely occupied by Hatuta and has no more space for anything else. She has been staying in Italy for almost a month now, but she still cannot resist the temptation of visiting Hatuta’s Facebook from time to time. Without any update on his page for a month, finally there is a new post by Hatuta’s friend. In the picture, Hatuta is sleeping at the dining table, with a few empty wine bottles lying around. Glasses are falling here and there, as if a crazy drinking party just unfolded there last night. Apparently they have enjoyed a plate full of deep fried chicken and have left only the bones on the plate. On the table there is also half a plate of Spaghetti Napolitan, Hatuta’s signature dish, or to be more precise, the only dish that he can make.
Living together for more than three years, Hatuta would prepare Spaghetti Napolitan for Yukiko every time when she goes home late. Panfry the sliced onion, bell pepper and bacon until caramelized, and then simply stir-fry with cooked spaghetti, ketchup and yakisoba sauce. Hatuta never measure the ingredients, so the dish tastes different every time. This doesn’t bother Yukiko as she neither likes nor dislikes this dish. Hatuta sometimes mixes ketchup with spaghetti for dinner when the fridge is empty; this is what really irritates Yukiko. How can a person treat eating with such a thoughtless manner when food is after all the most accessible kind of happiness in everyday life? There was one time when Hatuta prepared Spaghetti Napolitan for Yukiko’s lunchbox, he has put too much in there, the spaghetti stuck together and became hard like a brick when she opened the box. She had no way to spread the spaghetti out and had to throw it away. She ended up getting some bread for lunch instead.
‘No, I haven’t been to Saloni exhibition hall.’ Yukiko smiles gently while interrupting the man. She then quickly turns her gaze back to the tip of her shoes. Seeing Hatuta made Spaghetti Napolitan last night, Yukiko wonders if it tasted good.
‘Really? You should have a look there if you are staying in Milan for at least one more day. There’re a lot of amazing exhibitors participating in the hall.’ The man looks at his watch and says, ‘Have you eaten? Do you want to join me for lunch?’
Yukiko hears his words but is unsure how to reply. She doesn’t utter a word and asks only after a while, ‘Do you know where can I have some delicious Spaghetti Napolitan in Milan?’
‘What?’ He is first taken by surprise but he then starts laughing. ‘Spaghetti Napolitan is not an authentic Italian dish!’ He stands up and says, ‘Let me bring you to something more authentic and tasty.’
Ingredients for two:
200g Spaghetti, ½ Onion, 2 Green bell pepper, 80g bacon, some salt and butter.
4 tbsp Ketchup, 1 tbsp Yakisoba sauce, 1 tbsp milk.
- Cook spaghetti in boiling water with salt for 1 minute longer than instructed by the package.
- Put butter in a pan, fry onion until soft, continue stir-frying after adding bacon.
- Add spaghetti and bell pepper, stir fry with onion and bacon.
- Mix all ingredients for the sauce and pour into the pan.
- Ready to serve when the sauce and pasta are well mixed.