All weekend, I’ve been puzzling over a “what happened then” element in my new proposal. It’s been making me crazy because no matter how many notes I jotted down, how many creative naps I took, how many brainstorming sessions I had with John, it wasn’t coming to me. Then I decided to make some quick and easy marinara sauce for dinner and voila! In ten minutes, I had the missing piece in technicolor detail. I just needed to stop trying so hard and start living. That’s what I always tell new writers: you need to live life to be able to create. Sometimes I forget my own advice. So do you need a good idea? Start cooking!
Idea-Stimulating Marinara Sauce
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes with basil
1 clove minced garlic
2 T olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
1 tsp sugar
pinch red pepper flakes
1 bunch italian parsley, chopped
2 splashes of white wine, divided
1 pint mushrooms sliced
Saute the shallots in olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and saute a few more minutes. Pour in crushed tomatoes, s and p, sugar, pepper flakes and a splash of wine. Cook over low heat, partially covered, for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, saute mushrooms in olive oil for a few minutes, then add a splash of white wine and continue cooking till tender. Toss the parsley and mushrooms into the sauce and serve on penne pasta or chicken. And don’t forget to jot down those ideas!