Salivary glands first awaken with a crackling sautee of onions and garlic, then proscuitto, and the aromatic steam created. Tomatoes, wine and spices add color and a bright, pungent quality to the scent. The calamari, some chopped basil and grated parmesan add some festivity.
I swear, there is something in the scent of any home cooking, but particularly Italian red sauces, that acts as an antidepressant or stimulant. I made this dish on a cold, gray and snowy day, the seasonal change in the weather keeping me indoors. But filling the house with such scents as it did added a warmth and comfort. I sat by myself with a nice glass of red wine and took in the tastes and smells.
Home cooking can enhance sense of place and add to intimacy. And the process of creating good food is therapeutic in itself. Something to be shared if possible, but also enjoyable in your own company.