You need to find a knife. Do not think about suicidal confessional poets from the 1960s. Just find a knife.
Use the knife to cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Don’t ponder about what ‘bite-sized’ means. Don’t riff on how different people have different mouth sizes and therefore different bite sizes. Just cut the potatoes. Cut them on a cutting board!
Get a large pot. Put the cut-up potatoes in the pot. Fill the pot with water. Think about this. Are these the characters in your story, perculating under your subconscious? Ready to make something happen in your plot? Yes. Yes. They are.
Boil those characters for 15-20 minutes. They should be fork tender. What does that even mean fork tender? Aren’t we all fork tender, us humans? So easily hurt.
Drain the potatoes, those poor tender potatoes. Pause to write a poem. Make sure when you come back that those little sweet potatoes are pretty dry.
Cast aside your feelings. It’s time to get serious. Find a skillet. Do not comtemplate the last time you used a skillet as a prop device in your murder-mystery staring your ex boss. Instead, turn the stove burner on to medium heat. Put that skillet on the burner. Yes, the same burner that you’ve turned on.
In the skillet, put olive oil, potatoes, and spices. Double up the spices if you aren’t afraid. You want depth to your story. I mean recipe.
Stir it up like it’s a good plot.
Cook it for 3-5 minutes. Flip it. Cook it on that side for 3-5 more minutes. You want it crisp, but not burnt. Use your own judgement about what constitutes crisp. You can do it! I believe in you!
Find the corn tortillas. Put potatoes in them. Put the other toppings in them. Hope for good reviews on Amazon and GoodReads. I mean, hope your family likes them.
First, prepare for your meal of love and put your beautiful, expensive cashews in a big bowl and leave them there overnight while you dream of their beautiful, exquisite form. Maybe write a sonnet about them.
It is the next day!
Writer, you are in love with your story and therefore you are in love with life so go put that stove on 400.
Line a pan with tinfoil or aluminum foil. Wait. What is it? When did this word change? Resist the urge to look it up and just use the shiny stuff.
Look at all your adorable ingredients. They are the character in the story called DINNER. Love them up. Maybe kiss them quickly. Make sure nobody is watching
Put all the tomatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper on top of the lined baking sheet. ADORE THEM!
Find the olive oil and drizzle its juice all over the vegetables on the sheet. Do not breathe heavily. This is not porn. This is dinner.
Feel guilty that your brain even went there.
Put it in the oven and shut it. Are you feeling ashamed? It's okay. It's all behind the oven door now. Keep it all back there, hidden, for 20 minutes.
Take the pan out. Skin the tomatoes. Dear God! What have you become? It started out so lovingly and now you are skinning tomatoes! YOU ARE A WRITER NOT A DEMON! YOU ARE NO HANNIBEL! Take no pleasure in this step. Also be careful not to burn your fingers.
Cook pasta according to its directions.
Hide it all in the oven again for ten minutes and breathe deeply. Practice your mantras. Repeat after me, "I cook with love. I cook with love. I cook with love."
You know those cashews you've been drowning all night? Put them in a blender. Add the vegetables and their juices. Blend. Blend it until smooth until there's no damn evidence that these things were once separate entities. Add salt.
Mix it up with the pasta. Eat it. Check for cameras.
Sometimes you need love. So you heat oil in a large skillet via the heat rank of medium, right?
Watch that oil slowly bubble up the way love does.
When the oil is warm put those mushrooms in there and stir it up. Sure, the mushroom shrink eventually, but look at how they all seem to love each other. A writer's life should be like that, right? Building each other up instead of tearing down. Add a little salt because we are salty people.
Brown those mushrooms, which will take about 10 minutes.
Put some garlic in with the mushrooms and the tiny bit of salty writer personality.
Garlic is the smell of warm nights and memoirs by ladies in their 40s. Look beyond this.
Cook the garlic for 1 minute. Add the sherry and/or red wine. This is the smell of ladies reading other ladies' memoirs and feeling envious. Watch that wine evaporate.
Try to not let your love hopes evaporate. You're a writer and you need love. You also need health care. Sometimes these magical things come together in the form of a spouse with a job that has benefits.
Add chicken stock. Add pepper and salt to taste. Get it warm enough to simmer and then cool things back down like you're in a romantic comedy and you have commitment issues.
Cook about five minutes. It will be a thicker substance, sort of like a writer in a relationship after five years of steady meals and healthcare.
Add cream. Stir. Simmer it for another five. It should get thicker because you're at the 10 minute/year relationship mark and this is to be expected.
Hey! Did you forget about the pasta? MAKE THE PASTA! I know! I know, we were all focused on the sexy, love part of the relationship - the tasty part, but we need structure and a good foundation, too.
Cook the pasta and when it's done, drain it. Don't rinse it. Put it in a bowl.
Go back to your creamy, sexy mushroom mixture and all of those chopped things (tarragon, chives, thyme) and turn off the heat. That's a hard phrase to write when you're talking about love, but trust me and do it.
Stir in the cheese - ½ cup of it Let it melt.
Mix all this up with the pasta. Then use the rest of the cheese and sprinkle it on top to make the Love Pasta look pretty like an Instagram photo.