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?”
“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.
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.