When I started working from home a year ago, I started eating strange things at strange hours.
Mostly free from the judgmental stares of co-workers and local coffee shop staff, I’ve found myself slowly eschewing ‘traditional meal-times’ in favour of eating what my body tells me it’s in the mood for, or – more importantly – what happens to be in the fridge at any given time.
As a result, I regularly (or at least more often than most people would care to admit) found myself eating pasta for breakfast.
For the most part, this manifested in the form of the previous night’s leftovers, enjoyed at 10am rather than three hours later at ‘lunchtime’.
But on occasion, I’ve woken up with a hankering for a bowl of pasta when there isn’t any that’s already cooked.
The idea of knocking up a spaghetti carbonara at 8am might seem ludicrous, but the more I think about it, the less logic I can draw from this seemingly arbitrary culinary norm.
Pasta is one of our favourite ingredients in the West.
Although in recent years, the low-carb trend has vilified this Italian staple, the myriad options for substitutes, from courgetti and spaguetti squash to spelt and quinoa pasta, goes to show it still forms a huge part of our diet.
But while bread, potatoes, rice and even leftover pizza on a tough Sunday morning are considered reasonable breakfast carbs, pasta remains firmly in the lunch-and-dinner realm.
Nutritionally, many people argue it makes more sense to have a big bowl of mac and cheese in the morning and a light spinach frittata or avocado toast for dinner, yet socially this feels unacceptable.
Pasta is made of flour, eggs and olive oil – staples of many a home-cooked breakfast. Sauces can include tomatoes, cheese, bacon and vegetables, ingredients we wouldn’t think twice about putting on toast to eat first thing in the morning.
This strange aversion to early morning noodles is illogical, and potentially damaging.
Despite what Instagram and YouTube What I Eat In A Days would have you believe, most of us are more likely to start the day off with a bowl of sugary cereal or a butter-laden croissant than superfood-infused green juices or gluten-free vegan overnight oats.
A well-balanced bowl of pasta offers the satisfaction of carbs and the opportunity to add as many nutrients or protein as you please.
For those still skeptical, I recommend a pasta omelette, made with leftover spaghetti (tomato-based sauces work well here) stirred into beaten eggs and then cooked through until solid. You’ll never look back.