I had virtually no vegetables in the apartment last night, because I had not gone to the Greenmarket the day before, Monday. We were going out to dinner with a friend that night, and I expected to do just a simple pasta the next day, one which didn’t require a fresh vegetable.
And then our friend announced she was bringing us things from her garden, including some tiny cherry tomatoes. Our Tuesday dinner had suddenly been defined, and the tomatoes turned out to be as good as they looked.
We began with a salume/salchicha from a package I had picked up a week or so earlier.
- two ounces of Fermin Salchichón Ibérico dry-cured sausage from Chelsea’s Foragers Market, made from the ‘pata negro’ breed of pig (Iberico pork, salt, nutmeg, black pepper, white pepper, plus seasoning which consisted of sugar, trisodium citrate, sodium nitrate, and potassium nitrate), drizzled with a bit of good Campania olive oil (Lamparelli O.R.O.)
- red dandelion from Norwich Meadows Farm, dressed with more of the olive oil, a bit of Maldon salt, and some freshly-ground black pepper
- slices of 12 grain bread from Bread Alone
The main course was visually striking, bursting with the color of the tomato gift..
..and in a pose captured immediately after the tomatoes were tossed into the pot, before everything was stirred and the liquid emulsified:
- three smashed cloves of Keith’s Farm rocambole garlic and two whole dried peperoncino Calabresi secchia from Buon Italia (hot, but not screaming hot small peppers) heated in a little more than a tablespoon of olive oil inside a large antique high-sided copper pot until the garlic had softened somewhat and become pungent, followed by 9 or 10 ounces of Pastificio Setaro paccheri from Buon Italia (I love that pasta shape), that just been boiled al dente, along with much of a cup of reserved pasta cooking water, 2 cups of tiny tomatoes from a friend’s garden, ‘Lower Hayfields’, in Garrison, which is a bit up the Hudson from here, and a tablespoon of fresh oregano blossoms from Norwich Meadows Farm (while saving a few to be tossed on top of the pasta at the end), everything stirred over a medium high flame until the liquid had been emulsified, seasoned with a bit of sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, arranged in shallow bowls, drizzled around the edges with olive oil, garnished with red micro mustard from Two Guys from Woodbridge
- the wine was an Italian (Alto Adige/Südtirol) white, Alois Lageder Pinot Bianco 2016, (Pino bianco is known as Weißburgunder in Germany and Austria) from Garnet Wines
- the music was Salieri’s 1775 opera buffa, ‘Il mondo alla rovescia’ [Eng. the topsy-turvy world]; it includes a Goldoni libretto, and “..the mildly risqué action is set on a mythical island where women, Amazon-like, rule the roost and men are reduced to drooling subservience.”
[the image of a scene in the opera is from ♫ il trillo parlante]