BRENT STOLLER

Writer. Advice giver. Peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast.

30 Days of Joy: The Beauty of Simplicity

Brent Stoller's bowl of cacio e pepe from the restaurant Coltivare in Houston

Note: This article is the next step in my challenge to find joy in something — anything — every day for 30 days. Today’s entry is part 14.

I’m a simple guy, and I love the simple things.

And when it comes to my Mount Rushmore of meals, it doesn’t get much simpler than cacio e pepe.

Cacio e pepe is a Roman delicacy that consists of three ingredients:

Long, thin pasta, like spaghetti, black pepper and cheese.

That’s it. Because that’s all it needs.

The first time I ordered it, I felt guilty for succumbing to my unsophisticated palette. Why was I scared to be more adventurous?

And then I tasted it. With one bite, I was in a new world of flavor and fulfillment I didn’t know existed.

When my wife and I took our honeymoon to Italy last year, we experienced the real thing while in Rome. It was everything I’d imagined it to be.

And last night, we went to a local Italian place that serves it, because we hadn’t had it in awhile. It was everything I’d remembered it being.

It’s been a long week, and this was the perfect pick-me-up.

Before getting too deep in my bowl, I snapped the picture above, because I knew this was what I was going to write about.

It’s funny, because I’m anything but a foodie.

Yet in the two weeks since starting this “30 Days of Joy” challenge, I’ve written about food multiple times, be it fried chicken or Chick-fil-a’s chicken biscuits.

But that’s been one of the pleasant developments — if not one of the primary goals — of this challenge:

Finding joy in what I previously took for granted.

*****

This originally appeared on 100 Naked Words.

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