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What to Eat When You Can’t Eat

For the past few months, I’ve been dealing with acid reflux. I had no idea how debilitating it could be until I started having symptoms.

My solution, besides going to see my doctor, has been to totally change my diet. This isn’t new; I’ve always had a sensitive stomach. It runs in my family. The French call it la crise de foie, crisis of the liver. It is a sign that you have to stop eating rich, fatty foods and give your body time to recover. I was always taught it was a blessing, a sign telling us to pay attention to what we are eating. This uncomfortableness is actually a gift: my body warning me that I need to make some changes.

Since I’m being cautious and I was hungry, I decided to make myself a bowl of pasta. I love Pappardelle, the wide pasta, and I’m a fan of just plain noodles with butter, so that’s where I started. After cooking them in lots of salted boiling water, I drained and reserved some of the cooking water. To the pasta I added the butter, a few spoons of grated Parmigiano Reggiano, a sprinkle of salt, a grind of fresh pepper, and a little pasta water to create a sauce.

Just before serving, I opened the door to the deck and pinched off some small basil leaves and tore them over my plate.

The taste of my creation dazzled me. How could this mixture of pasta, butter, cheese, starchy water, and fresh basil be so perfect? The potency and simplicity have me dreaming of making this dish again just so I can surprise my taste buds with this amazing flavor one more time.

Here is the recipe:

Serves 1

Pasta with Butter and Basil


2 tablespoons kosher salt

Pappardelle pasta for one person

1 tablespoon butter

2 teaspoons of grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Pasta water, enough to create a sauce

Fresh basil leaves


Boil a large pot of water with added salt.

Cook the pasta, drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta water.

In a bowl mix the pasta and butter, salt and pepper and cheese.

Combine it and add enough pasta water to make a sauce.

Tear about a teaspoon of fresh basil over the pasta and serve.

Bon Appétit!


Le Kitchen Cookbook

A Workbook

Everything you need to know to be a good cook.

by Adeline M. Olmer

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Bon Appétit
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13 ott 2023
Valutazione 5 stelle su 5.

Makes me hungry. I never knew about the pasta water!

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