I was still working out what I wanted to do with this beautiful dish even after it had been arranged in the 2 bowls, but then the real surprise was that it turned out to be one my best pasta inventions.
It began with the half box of Sfolini Beet fusilli I knew was sitting in the pantry, but it really got going with some wonderful tender garlic scapes, and then it finished with a flourish of fresh dill blossoms.
- one bunch of thin, young garlic scapes from Windfall Farms, washed, dried, trimmed at either end, cut into one-inch lengths, and sautéed, with a pinch or two of peperoncino Calabresi secchia from Buon Italia over a low to moderate flame in a tablespoon or so of Whole Foods Market house Portuguese olive oil inside a large antique high-sided copper pan until softened, then 2 or three tablespoons of Cabot Creamery unsalted butter (12% fat) from Westside Market added along with the juice of half of an organic whole Foods market lemon, followed by 8 ounces of boiled Sfolini Beet fusilli pasta, some of the cooking water reserved (note: this pasta only takes about 5 or 6 minutes to cook, and it goes to al dente with virtually no warning), drained and stirred into the pot with the scapes over a moderate flame, along with some of the pasta water, until that liquid was emulsified, sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and chopped lovage from Two Guys from Woodbridge added and stirred into the mix, the sauced pasta arranged in 2 low bowls, some olive oil drizzled around the edges, sprinkled with a generous amount of lemon zest and some toasted home-made breadcrumbs, garnished with dill blossoms from Windfall Farms
- the wine was an Italian (Umbria) white, Barberani Orvieto Classico ‘Castagnolo’ 2016, from Flatiron Wines
- the music was an album of Bach Harpsichord concertos performed by Andreas Staier and the Freiburger Barockorchester
There was dessert, and it was only an accident that, on that eve of the Fourth of July, it pretty much suggested the very American ‘strawberry shortcake’, only better.
- slices of a terrific ‘Sour Cream Coffee Cake’ from Bread Alone, in the Union Square Greenmarket, with some ripe chopped strawberries from Alex’s Tomato Farm in the 23rd Street sidewalk greenmarket distributed over the top, a portion macerated in a little Turbinato sugar, topped with a scoop of Talenti Vanilla Bean Gelato from Whole Foods Market