2020年3月20日 星期五

Open hearts, feel about it. Open minds, think about it.

Everyone, read about it; everyone, scream about it.
John Taggart for The New York Times
Author Headshot

By Jamelle Bouie

Opinion Columnist

It suffices to say that this has been a weird week. The situation here in Charlottesville is as strange and crazy as I imagine it is in the New York area. We’re all home, trying to work and entertain a toddler who appears to have an endless supply of energy. As far as this newsletter goes, I was planning to write something about the movies we’ve been watching — my wife and I have been going through the entire Coen brothers filmography, in chronological order — but I may save that for the next newsletter. Instead, I’ll leave you with the usual list of things to read and food to cook as you continue to self-isolate. I hope everyone is staying sane and staying safe.

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What I Wrote

On our fast-moving economic disaster and why Washington needs to think much, much bigger:

Washington is, finally, working toward a response. But even the most ambitious proposals are nowhere near powerful enough to actually stop the coronavirus from destroying the economy. To do that, policymakers have to go beyond stimulus or bailouts for select industries. They have to take responsibility for economic life on a scale not seen since the New Deal.

On the Republican Party’s attempt to distract the public from its profound failures:

It’s tempting to say that now is not the time for partisan recrimination. But this is the second consecutive Republican administration to lead the United States to disaster.

Now Reading

Franklin Roosevelt’s first inaugural address, addressing the nation’s economic crisis.

Patrick Wyman on living through the end of an empire, in Mother Jones.

Caleb Crain on capitalism and democracy in The New Yorker.

Ed Yong on why the coronavirus has been so successful, in The Atlantic.

Stephanie DeGooyer and Srinivas Murthy on the folly of “health nativism” in Dissent magazine.

Namwali Serpell on HBO’s Watchmen in the New York Review of Books.

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Feedback

If you’re enjoying what you’re reading, please consider recommending it to friends. They can sign up here. If you want to share your thoughts on an item in this week’s newsletter or on the newsletter in general, please email me at jamelle-newsletter@nytimes.com.

Photo of the Week

I was in New Hampshire for its primary last month and shot a roll of film in addition to taking digital photos. This was at an Elizabeth Warren town hall at a church in Portsmouth, N.H., taken from the balcony. I’m actually surprised it came out, since the room was dark and the film was slow. Anyway, the square format is a giveaway that I took this photo on my Yashica twin-lens reflex camera, which has quickly become my favorite thing to shoot with.

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Now Eating: “Impossible” Meat Sauce With Rigatoni

Judging from the bare shelves at my local grocery store, I’m sure many of you have a fair amount of pasta in your pantry. If so, this recipe — which is something I put together last weekend — is an easy way to use some of it, along with any canned tomatoes and aromatic vegetables you might also have. You can use real ground beef, but I had a pound of plant-based Impossible beef on hand and used that instead. In a sauce like this, the difference in taste is almost indistinguishable. Serves 4 people.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
  • 1 pound beef or beef substitute
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • generous pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup of whatever red wine you’re drinking (optional)
  • 1 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes, crushed by hand or in a blender
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup slivered basil leaves
  • 12 ounces rigatoni or other tube-shaped pasta
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving

Directions

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the diced onions and carrots and cook until they take on plenty of color, at least 10 minutes but typically close to 15 minutes, stirring frequently toward the end to avoid burning. Add garlic and oregano and cook for 2 minutes. Add beef and cook until browned. Add tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly to evenly coat everything. Deglaze the pan of any burned bits using the red wine, then add the crushed tomatoes along with ¼ to ½ teaspoon of salt and as much freshly ground pepper as you like. Bring sauce to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cover, leaving a crack to let moisture out.

Fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. I know this sounds like a lot, but the high salt content is necessary for flavorful pasta and you’ll be throwing out most of the water anyway. Add your rigatoni and cook according to directions. You want it al dente, since it will finish in the sauce.

While the pasta is cooking, add most of the slivered basil to the sauce, leaving some for garnish. Once the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving 1 cup of the water to add to the sauce, which should have reduced some while you were working on the pasta. The sauce should be well seasoned, but taste and adjust if necessary. Add the pasta and stir, coating with the sauce.

Serve in a warm bowl with remaining basil and grated cheese.

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