Pasta Tonnato; French Medical Modesty…. haha

Pasta Tonnato

We think mon mari is fixed.

We hope mon mari is fixed  He has one more test to pass next week.  I’m making him study.

He hasn’t been in hospital all this time, but a bit of back and forth, in and out, tests and procedures, punctuated by a few trips to find a house and a couple of long, leisurely lunches on the coast.

As long as it’s all still so fresh I thought I would pass on a few tidbits about the French Health Care System.

Oh, not about the actual medicine….

The actual day – to – day stuff that the medical people consider immaterial to helping sick people.

The actual stuff that sick people consider to be rather important, since they are already sick, miserable and stuck in the bloody hospital.

First: Privacy / Modesty

Doors to patients rooms are kept shut at all times.  Not having a lot of hospital experience I don’t know if this is the norm in other countries, but here they are firmly closed.  It can get rather stuffy, considering the lack of air-conditioning.  But the windows all open!

On the other hand there are no curtains or screens separating the 2 patients in a semi-private room.  Normally both patients are of the same sex so modesty shouldn’t be an issue.

Normally, but not always.  Mon mari had two female roommates. One learns to avert the gaze – he for the female roommates, me for the male, when the nurses are in attendance.

Normally, having the door closed should also insure tender sensibilities are protected.

Normally, but not always.  I walked in, after the perfunctory knock and bid to enter, on mon mari’s young (attractive and very fit) male roommate lying, perfectly nude on top of a perfectly bare bed.

Mon mari had stepped out and the roomie was expecting the girlfriend.

He laughed and waved…. I laughed and waved back…

Second: Pain / Discomfort

This is, apparently, not acceptable, in any degree, anywhere in all of France.  I have never seen a people so concerned with medicating every little twinge – and a people so incapable of managing said twinges without ample medication.  There were a lot of happy folks in the hospital.

Third: Patient Responsibilities

This is taken rather seriously.  Your body; your responsibility.

Medical records are in the hands of the patient.  One is expected to bring the appropriate ones to an appointment.  I have all of the mammograms, radio’s, etc. ever done here in France.  Not copies; originals.  They’re mine; best take care of them.

Mon mari has a stack of all the test results, x-rays etc, plus surgery reports and treatments. They’re his.

Medicine is in the hands of the patient to the degree it can be.  Getting a flu shot?

First, go to your GP and get the prescription
Second, go to your pharmacy and get the syringe and serum
Third, go the medical center and get the injection… Don’t forget to get your prescription stamped
Fourth, take the stamped prescription back to your pharmacy to get the whole thing paid for.

For mon mari‘s last test next week, he has to pick up whatever is needed at the pharmacy the day before and take it with him to give to the doctor.

On the other hand, there are no co-pays for prescriptions of any kind.

If you want to read more about French medical practices you can read about my first OB/GYN visit here.
Bet your doctor doesn’t say: “Okay, strip!”

The girls and I are glad mon mari‘s fixed… It’s no fun when he’s broken.

On the other hand… I do get to eat all my favorite foods that he won’t would prefer not to eat.

As you would expect, I’ve had some very strange meals.

Strange, but delicious!

The first time we were in Venice I had Vitello Tonnato.

I fell in love!

Every summer since I have made it for my birthday dinner (my day; my choice).

Mon mari has shut up and eaten it, even though I know he doesn’t like it.

This year, I took advantage of the opportunity not to share and made it all just for me!

I made rather a lot of the Tonnato Sauce; had it twice on the veal and finished it up on pasta.

It was good!

Good enough for inclusion in Presto Pasta Nights!  Visit founder, Ruth, of Once Upon A Feast on Friday for the round-up.

Pasta Tonnato

Pasta with Tonnato Sauce  

1 1/2 cups of bite-size pasta – farfalle, shells, penne

Tonnato Sauce
1 6 oz (180gr) can tuna
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 anchovy fillets (or the equivalent in anchovy paste), drained and rinsed
1 1/2 tbs lemon juice
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 tbs capers, drained
1 – 3 tbs liquid/oil from tuna, if needed, for thinning

Cook pasta according to package instructions.  While pasta cooks:  Open tuna and drain into a small bowl, reserving liquid.  Put all ingredients for sauce (except reserved liquid) into blender and purée until smooth.  If you would like a thinner sauce add a bit of the reserved tuna liquid and purée again.

When pasta is done, drain, rinse with cool water, drain again and put into a large serving bowl.  Toss with Tonnato Sauce.  Serve.

Note:  If you don’t use all of the Tonnato Sauce (matter of taste) use the rest over cold poached veal or chicken

11 thoughts on “Pasta Tonnato; French Medical Modesty…. haha”

  1. I hope you’ll forgive me, but when you said “Mon Mari is fixed,” the first thing I thought of is, well, male dogs and the infamous vet visit. I’m sure glad that your mari wasn’t fixed that way!
    Oh, and that’s too funny about your husband’s sexy male roommate… I’m just glad you accidentally walked in BEFORE the girlfriend arrived!

  2. It’s no fun to be in a Hospital. No fun to be sick, no fun to wear that horrible green dress completely opened in the back part…
    I wish your mari is fixed and fine 😀
    Another wonderful and different pasta dish, one never ends learning different combos at your place!!!

  3. This is an interesting post for me. You see, in a previous life, I was a nurse. That was actually my very first career. My first position was in a hospital in Milan and there, about once a month, I would have vitello tonnato (veal with tonnato sauce), a dish I loved. Your post, talking about hospitals and tonnato sauce, was a perfect reminder of those times. The rooms had two beds, no screen between them, but we never had co-ed situations. The doors were managed by the patients. And I prefer being the owner of my medical records.

  4. Sue, I have to admit we are both very sick of them, ourselves… The hospitals, that is!
    Neen, me too, although she did stay most of the morning… After mon mari got back it was, um, interesting…
    Nuria, I forgot about that, they didn’t supply the gowns and towels either – so no ugly green backless ones.
    Thanks, L, I’ll pass on another summer like this one!
    Jenn, yes, he is feeling much better… and not at all jealous that I ate all the tonnato sauce…
    I rather like having my own medical records, also. At least I no longer have to fight with the doctor to get them like I did in the U.S.!

  5. Interesting the difference in philosophy between American and French medicine. The flu shot rigmarole doesn’t sound convenient but I like the part about keeping your own medical records. And opposite sex roommates? That’s different!
    Hope Mr. TfC is feeling better.

  6. Wow – that’s really interesting! I had no idea of the differences in Health Care, though I’d rather some of the things going on there than here (but not all!!). I love fixing things we either can’t afford for 2 or that LB doesn’t like when I get a dinner to myself – yours looks fabulous!

  7. That’s quite a complicated way dealing with the med people. Nevertheless, hope all is well. The pasta dish looks easy to make. I’ve got capers and anchovies as gifts (not commonly used here in the Philippines) so this seems like a good way to eat them. Thanks and have a great weekend!

  8. Julie, definitely nice to be in charge of your own records… but some things…
    michelle, a bit of good, a bit not so fun… we adjust!
    Hope you like it, scientist ‘-))

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