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Home Edition. Of Happiness and Spaghetti

According to the Italian Encyclopedia Treccani happiness is the state of mind of those who feel peaceful, not stressed by pain or worries and who therefore enjoy this state. I wish identifying happiness were so simple. I wish it were easy to recognize. Truth is that we often feel we are close to reaching happiness but we let it slip away. John Lennon sang “Happiness is a warm gun”, and it is indeed.

A person has suggested that, in order to find and keep a happy state of mind, I should use the old trick of closing my eyes and thinking of something good and positive. What comes to your mind if you do your best to think of something that makes you feel calm? Maybe this easy gesture could open a whole new world to us. I closed my eyes and this is what I came up with.

Those days in Milan when the sky is bright blue. The sound of the sea at the end of your first week of holidays when there are two more weeks to come. Laughing until I cry. The empty city streets in mid August. Being there for the loved ones, when they need us. Being present, period. Without running away. Wide shoulders of a man who really cares for you. A breakfast with no worries, with a good playlist in the backround. Doing one thing at a time and feeling like you are doing a great job. Slowing down, without stopping completely, just that bit that is enough for better enjoying the view. The attentions of those you don’t ask anything in return. Kindness, because that saying that “every person you meet is fighting a battle you don’t know about” is true. A glass of wine to end a bad day. Feeling at ease with yourself, at the right place, with that feeling of being adequate that I so seldom manage to feel and that I would exchange for more or less anything in the world.

The truth is that happiness doesn’t come knocking at our door, ever. Nobody is responsible for your happiness and you can’t buy it either. Let’s take responsibility for our happiness: let’s go and find it. To celebrate happiness today I share with you a recipe by my friend Simo: a delicious and colourful pasta with courgettes, almonds and mint pesto. It always puts me in a good mood. I also give you a piece of advice: Sunday 20 March will be the International Day of Happiness and for this occasion the Accademia della Felicità (Happiness Academy), in Porta Romana in Milan, has organized a week of events, conferences and free workshops to remind you that happinness is a right. For example, I will attend the course for learning to say no. Because guilt is one of the biggest happiness’ enemies.


Home Edition A Place in Milan Pasta

Spaghetti with courgettes, almonds and mint pesto | © Caterina Zanzi


Spaghetti 500 gr
Cougettes 500 gr
Parmisan 100 gr
Almonds (peeled) 50 gr + sliced almonds 40 gr
Mint leaves
Half clove of garlic
Oil, salt and pepper


Put some oil in a pan and add the sliced almonds, cook until golden. Boil the courgettes and blend them with the mint leaves, garlic, almonds and grated parmisan. Add salt and pepper. Add your pesto to the separately boiled spaghetti, decorate with the sautéed almonds… et voilà les jeux sont fait!

Read the original article on Conosco un Posto. This English version was translated by Tamara Ilic.

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