Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock's Dark Molasses Gingerbread
Pietro Gangemi's Torta di Carciofi

Mark Bittman's Egg Noodles with Soy Broth

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I may have been raised by a Roman in an extended family of Italo-Saxon gourmands, but I will have you know that I periodically, in high school, did indulge in an after school snack comprised of two slices of German Schwarzbrot sandwiching an oozy crimson layer of ketchup. Yes! It's true. I used to eat ketchup sandwiches. But, get this, that's not even the worst of it! Just to mix things up a bit - adventures of a latch-key kid, oh my - I sometimes boiled up a handful of pasta and sauced it with, you guessed it, that sauce of all sauces, ketchup.

Will horrors never cease? You probably think I should have my food professional license revoked.

But you need to know this to understand why, when I read this Minimalist column two weeks ago, my ears pricked up and my eyes widened. Who cares about authenticity? Noodles in a soy broth made with ketchup sounded like my kind of dinner - a throwback to my days on Bambergerstra├če after school, gussied up just a wee bit with rice vinegar and toasted sesame oil.

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