rigatoni with melothria, habanada, lemon, micro scallion

I had no idea what I was going to make for dinner, other than that it would be a pasta, until I looked at the inventory of vegetables and other stuff I keep on line on my Evernote application. I proceeded to write out a number of possibilities on a sheet of scrap paper, then circled some and drew a few diagonal lines between them, and this is what I turned up.

It began with a bag of Melothria.

Also unplanned was being able to incorporate the contents of a half-empty box of rigatoni that our Berlin apartment exchange friends had left us in one of our cupboards.

  • a simple sauced pasta which began with a couple tablespoons of olive oil inside a high-sided tin-lined copper pot gently heating roughly half a pound of halved ‘Mexican gherkins’ (not actually cucumbers, but ‘Melothria scabra‘) along with the last fresh habanada pepper of the season, sliced, after which 8 ounces of al dente-boiled De Cecco Rigatoni no. 24 were mixed in, including, oddly, a few ounces of an unlabelled  spaghetti I had also found in that pasta box (I figured it would make the dish look even more interesting), and about half a cup of reserved pasta cooking water added and stirred in the pot until the liquid had emulsified, a bit of juice from a Whole Foods organic lemon squeezed over the pasta, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground pepper, part of a heap of micro scallions tossed and stirred into the mix, which was then placed in 2 shallow bowls, topped with a pinch of fenugreek, garnished with the remainder of the micro scallions and drizzled with a little olive oil
  • the wine was an Italian (Sardinia) white, La Cala Vermentino di Sardegna 2015
  • the music was an album of Luigi Nono Orchestral Works and Chamber Music