Food Conversations with My Body

Some days I wake up with the knowledge that today will not be all vegan or vegetarian.  Fortunately, my body and I have a good relationship after all these years.  Therefore, we have conversations like this:

” How do you feel about a little prosciutto today?”

“Is it the good stuff?”

“Yes, you know me.  Barbara bought a small number of slices from the ends of the prosciutto, but it’s from Parma; none of that domestic product.”

“OK, just keep the quantities small.”

“I think the twinge I felt in my side yesterday was a response to a surfeit of beets recently; am I reading that right?”

“Very likely”

“Great.  I’m planning to make Fettuccine with Prosciutto and Fresh Tomato Sauce.  The tomatoes are from Karl & Elena’s Small-Farm, and they are terrific.  The recipe calls for cooking the prosciutto slowly in 8 Tbs. of butter.  Do you think you can manage if I cut it back to 3 Tbs.?”

“That will work.”

“Cool.  I will make my own fresh Fettuccine.  My master recipe now is 200 gm. flour, 2 eggs, salt, and a little olive oil.  To make it interesting, I am using 135 gm. of Double-Zero flour and I just milled 65 gm. of Triticale for texture and sweetness.  I’ll show you the photos later.  Thanks.”


I rarely eat meat now, and I almost never cook prosciutto when I do eat it.  However, this particular recipe from Cucina Rustica has been one of my favorites for more than 25 years.  It’s a classical example of simple and great Italian cooking: a small number of excellent ingredients plus simple, straightforward preparation.

My old friend, Atlas, for handmade pasta

Fettuccine, from 65% “00” flour and 35% Triticale

trimming prosciutto into small pieces

Peeled, chopped, and drained farm-fresh tomatoes

Pasta in the bowl

Since I can easily imagine the pasta as a dish from Emiglia-Romagna, I chose the wine from that same region, Tollara — a Malvasia di Candia, from importer Nick Mucci.  It was perfect.

I had the time on Sunday, so I steamed some beets, and I also prepared a large version of a baked vegetable dish for Monday’s meals.  The dish is called Tourlou apparently in Turkey, and it is a version of Briam in Greece.

Tourlou Tourlou


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