My friend Kathy’s brother is in the final days of his life and has been put into hospice care. They asked him what he wanted to eat. His choice—liver and onions and banana cream pie. What? They can give me liver and onions and banana cream pie if I’m dying and I’m totally unconscious. Can’t you just see those hospice people pureeing liver and onions, throwing in a pie, and putting it in my feeding tube? I really don’t want to go to my maker having just eaten liver and onions. It would be my version of hell.
The whole idea of food for terminal illness got me to thinking about what I would really want to eat, presuming I wanted to eat at all on my death bed. If I can request music for my funeral then surely I can request food for before my funeral. (I’ll come back to haunt you if you play any of the following at my funeral: Amazing Grace, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, or Country Roads. Given time to think, I’ll probably add to the list of banned songs.)
So here’s one of my most perfect recipes, what I could eat every day, including my final meal:
Southern Style Tomato Sauce with Pasta
1 32 ounce jar Rao marinara sauce
1 stick unsalted butter (or more to taste)
1 pound imported capellini
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (not the stuff in the green can!)
Warm the marinara sauce over low heat. Meanwhile, cook the capellini in boiling salted water until cooked al dente. Drain the pasta. Add butter to sauce until it just starts to melt. Put cooked capellini onto a platter, pour marinara sauce on top, and add grated Parmesan.