literary recipe: Dan Brown’s Travel Pasta with Butter, Sage and Ricotta


….for more literary pasta: on sale – The Pasta Papers Vol. 1

“Sad is the student who does not surpass the master.” Leonardo DaVinci, Thoughts


A dead guy

Beautiful European cities

A beautiful, intelligent, female co-hort*

A popular myth

An ugly bad man or ugly bad men

The Catholic Church (see above)

200 grams of spaghetti from one beautiful European city

100 grams of sheep ricotta from another

3 pats of butter from one mysterious antique ruin

Fresh sage from a beautiful, mysterious church

1 egg yoke from…wherever

Salt and pepper to taste

*a beautiful, intelligent, European female co-hort

Serves 2.

sexy busty brunette

Start with the dead guy. “What’s he holding?”

“It looks like a piece of paper with some writing on it,” your beautiful, intelligent, European female co-hort smartly observes in a sexy French-Italian-Spanish-Romanian-Irish-German accent, “and exactly 200 grams of spaghetti.” She pries the noodles and paper gingerly from the body’s fingers and opens the paper. “What’s it say,” you ask.

“It has numbers, symbols and letters on it, but no words. You want to take a look?”

“No, we don’t have time. It’s a really short recipe. Besides, the police will be here any minute.”

“Then we should run. I hid my two-seated motorized glider outside beneath those gorgeous Roman pines next to beautiful piazza with the lovely fountain in the middle.”

“Cool,” you eruditely exclaim.

After 3 pages of neatly describing the first beautiful European city from an open motorized glider you keenly remark, “It looks like we’re out of the city and in the clear.” Then a police helicopter appears.


“That was a close call,” you brilliantly say after you’ve evaded the helicopter and safely crash-landed into a pile of hay next to a beautiful, mysterious church. “What’s that smell?”

“It’s the odor from that sage bush over there,” your now destined-to-fall-into-a-romantic-relationship-with-you female co-hort answers. “Maybe we should grab some.”


“I don’t know, but I think it has something to do with the sheet of paper from the victim’s hand.”

“Why do you think that?”

“Because I knew my uncle. And that dead guy was my uncle.” Just as you’re about to respond, an ugly bad man in dark clothes appears from the shadows.

The plot thickens.


“That was a really close call,” you insightfully declare after you’ve escaped with only a slight concussion as you speed along in an ox-cart to another beautiful city. “So he was your uncle, huh?”


“Weird,” you sharply exclaim. “Can I see the paper?”

After 8 pages of history and symbol deciphering and a long expository section concerning an obscure catholic sect and its secret recipe for eternal life and 3 pages of lush description of the famous city as seen from an ox-cart, you spot a familiar building. “Wait! I have an old university mate who lives in that building. I think he can help us!”

“Cool,” your now hopelessly-in–love-with-your-boyish-charm female co-hort suavely utters.

Your old university mate helps you decipher the spaghetti code and then hides you in a cheese delivery truck to get you out of the city, now crawling with ugly bad men. Inside the truck you see something and both of you exclaim at the same time “Look, sheep ricotta!” You look at each other with knowing smiles and wiggle your cute little nosies. It’s love. But just as you’re about to kiss, the delivery truck screeches to a halt and the first ugly bad man reappears.

“That was really, really close,” you adroitly say after you’ve escaped by running through a mysterious antique ruin that just happened to have a store of the special butter made from the milk of cows fed exclusively on a rare flower that grows only on one particular European hillside that you were looking for. Eureka!

After 10 pages of symbols, 4 of history and 2 of famous landmark description the bad guys are killed or caught. Your concussion has healed. All that’s left to do is to boil the pasta, flavor half the butter with the sage in a pan on low heat and the other half mix in at the very end with all of the ingredients. Just as you and your soul-mate female co-hort are about to eat you place your forks down and, finally, kiss.



Following is an excerpt from Dan Brown’s thriller recipe, Angel Tortellini and Devil Ravioli…

The recipe: (see above) Boil the spaghetti or penne while you slowly flavor some butter on low heat with fresh sage leaves, slowly frying the sage until crispy as you do. Once the noodles are done drain incompletely and mix with the sage leaves, butter, sheep’s milk ricotta and raw egg yolk in a large bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a fruity white wine.

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