(I used the common American Italian expression for prosciutto only because it meant that I could fit the other words in the header in a single line)
The antipasto was very tasty, but it didn’t represent anything new on our table. The pasta was also wonderful, but it really was very new, at least to us.
It started with the tomatoes.
I had been looking for some outside inspiration for using some perfectly ripe green heirloom tomatoes (not green as in ‘not ripe’) that I thought really should be sent to the table that night. I decided to go with a recipe from Martha Stewart’s site, even before I had read it very closely. When I did, I realized that it described a cold, salad pasta, and not a conventional warm entrée. I decided to work it as the latter, while noting the usefulness of the former as a warm weather meal that could be prepared ahead of time, making it very useful for entertaining.
- one ounce (yeah, one ounce) of Principe Prosciutto di San Daniele from Whole Foods Market, divided onto 2 plates, drizzled with a good Campania olive oil (Lamparelli O.R.O.)
- some peppery small-leaf, or baby arugula from Windfall Farms, lightly dressed with the same olive oil, Maldon salt, freshly-ground black pepper and a small squeeze of an organic lemon from Whole Foods Market
- slices of a She Wolf Bakery miche
The main course was a pasta dish I largely cribbed from Martha Stewart, although I think I ended up making it my own. The original recipe describes a room temperature salad.
- one small chopped shallot from Lucky Dog Organic Farm and 3 large Agostino Recca salted Sicilian anchovies from Buon Italia, in the Chelsea Market, rinsed well in several changes of water and filleted, heated together in a tablespoon or so of olive oil inside a large antique high-sided copper pot until the anchovy had dissolved, after which a total of 8 or 9 ounces of Afeltra 100% Italian Pasta di Gragnano spaghetto from Flatiron Eataly, cooked al dente, was added, along with, pouring gradually, most of a cup of some reserved pasta cooking water, everything stirred together over a medium to high flame until the liquid had emulsified, the pasta seasoned with sea salt and black pepper, and nearly 2 cups of a mix of chopped parsley and spearmint, both form Phillips Farms, reserving enough for a garnish, were then mixed in, followed by 11 or 12 ounces of sliced green zebra heirloom tomatoes from Stokes Farm, which were slipped into the pot and gently lifted through the spaghetto before it was divided into 2 shallow bowls, sprinkled with pine nuts from Buon Italia that had been toasted in a dry cast iron pan earlier, drizzled around the edges with olive oil, and sprinkled with some of the reserved herbs
- the wine was an Italian (Campania/Ischia) white, Casa d’Ambra Ischia Bianco 2017, from Garnet Wines
- the music was an album of piano pieces by Beethoven, Schubert, and Schumann brilliantly performed by Soheil Nasseri, whom we had heard perform, and met, last Thursday when he performed at Merkin Concert Hall