The wisdom of nonnas inspires cookbook author Jessica Theroux's speedy three-course meal.
Jessica Theroux went to Italy for a year hoping to learn about food, life and perfect pastaand came back with a new perspective on healthy cooking. "The nonnas I met slow down and use all of their senses when they cook and eat," she says. "When you're relaxed, it actually helps you absorb nutrients." Theroux traveled all around the country learning from the matriarchsan experience she documented in her first book, 2010's acclaimed Cooking with Italian Grandmothersand she brings this wisdom to her new San Francisco private practice aimed at helping people improve their diets. The menu she shares on these pages focuses on naturally healthy ingredients, like bitter greens and cod, but the flavors are satisfying enough for any nonna.
Jessica Theroux's Healthy Menu
"Toss it with your hands," says Jessica Theroux, so you don't bruise the delicate salad leaves.
Main Course: Cod with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Arborio Rice
A garlic-tomato sauce for cod gets Sicilian flavor from orange zest and saffron.
Roasting apricots turns them into "sticky versions of themselves," says Theroux.
Jessica Theroux: Cooking with Italian Grandmothers
© Jessica Theroux
A nonna named Raffaela began baking naturally leavened bread to support herself after her husband died; she shared her secrets with Theroux.
Video: Italian Dishes