The meal was supposed to be little more that a “knee play” (Philip Glass defines a knee play as an interlude between acts, as “the ‘knee’ or joining function that humans’ anatomical knees perform), but it turned out to be a pretty sophisticated savory dish on its own. I normally think of these modest pasta dishes as both links and breathing spaces between conventional entrées likely to incorporate seafood or meat more prominently, but sometimes the pastas end up as standouts.
Although I think that if you’ve included 7 large salted anchovies in a recipe, it pretty much becomes a seafood dish itself.
- three fairly thinly sliced bulbous spring garlic stems from Lani’s Farm, placed inside a large antique copper pot over medium heat, along with some crushed dried Calabresi peperoncino secchia from Buon Italia in the Chelsea Market and cooked until the garlic was somewhat tender, after which 7 tinned salted Sicilian anchovies from Buon Italia, filleted, were added and heated until the indispensable engraulidae had fallen apart, followed by over a cup of halved Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’ from Chelsea Whole Foods Market, plus many of the chopped green sections of the fresh garlic that began in the pain earlier, everything cooked until the mix had become ‘saucy’ (about 5 minutes), sea salt and freshly ground pepper added, that mix tossed with 8 ounces that remained from a one kilogram package of Afeltra 100% Pasta di Gragnano I.G.P. rigatone from Flatiron Eataly that had just finished being cooked al dente and drained, the sauced pasta served with sautéed homemade bread crumbs toasted in a little olive oil, and some chopped parsley from Phillips Farms [the preparation was inspired by a Mark Bittman recipe]
- the wine was an Italian (Campania/Sannio) white, Aia dei Colombi, Falanghina del Sannio DOC ‘Guardis Sanframondi’ 2018, from Flatiron Wines
- the music was the Schubert/Berio symphony (also discussed here), performed by Christoph König conducting the Solistes Européens, Luxembourg