When you have a friend that is ailing, and your heart is broken knowing hers is broken, and there is so little that you can do except love her with all your might from far away and call every two hours to see if she is any more all right than she was the last time you called, I think the thing to do, is go to her, or if you can’t get there quick enough, send food. If she is within driving distance, an excellent suggestion would be motza ball soup. If you have no matzo, make her some sauce from your best tomatoes and a tiny little bit of cream to make it smooth and sweet. If she lives far away, send biscotti that she can dip into her tea. It is best to make something that she can keep a while or freeze, just in case she can only eat a mouthful at the moment.
For your sauce, drizzle in your very best olive oil into a sauce pan with three whole cloves of garlic. Let them get a bit golden, and then add three or four whole fresh basil leaves, clean and dry. Turn off the heat. Add your favorite canned whole tomatoes, preferably a San Marzano variety from somewhere around Naples. Crush them with your hand before they go in the pan. Turn the heat back on and simmer for about half an hour. When the garlic is soft, smash it up against the side of the pan with a fork. Taste for salt. Add a few more fresh basil leaves. When your pasta is al dente, drain well, and then add back to the pasta pot or a big saute pan with a few good spoonfuls of the sauce. Add a few Tablespoons of heavy cream, taste again for salt and pepper, and maybe even another few torn basil leaves. If it needs a bit more sauce, add enough to make the pasta creamy without being drowned. Add Parmigiano Reggiano to taste, some grinds of freshly ground pepper, and serve.
For the biscotti, combine 4 whole eggs with 6 Tablespoons of oil, one cup of sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla. Add nearly 2 and 3/4 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, a pinch of cinnamon or a little lemon zest, and a pinch of salt. Add one cup of roughly chopped almonds and raisins, mixed. The dough should be thick enough to hold its shape in a log. Form the dough into three long logs on a greased sheet pan. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly golden brown and set in the center. When cool, slice into quarter inch slices, lie them flat on the sheet pan, sprinkle them with sugar, and bake at 300 for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Whatever you make, your love will be in there, and she will get it.