Only a few hours before I began to prepare it, I hadn’t thought I’d be making dinner at all Saturday night, but by the middle of the evening it seemed like it would be the most comfortable way to satisfy our hunger, better than a restaurant, and also better than ordering even a very good pizza. There would be great company, a good table, agreeable climate control, good decor, great music, unexpected flavors, and not too many dishes to wash afterward.
It was mostly a matter of assembling things for which others had done the hard work earlier (local others).
There was an appetizer because I had already opened a package of a great hard salami the week before, and I had a stash of some terrific semi-wild red cress that would not stay at its peak forever. Also, the frozen package of filled pasta did not represent a lot of food for two by itself.
- two ounces, thinly sliced, of a luscious local finocchiona-style sausage, ‘Finochiona’ (pork, salt, red wine, spices, garlic, evaporated cane juice, celer extract, lactic acid starter culture) from Rico and Jill of Walnut Hill Farm in Pawlet, Rutland County, Vermont, which now sells at the Union Square Greenmarket on Fridays (the sausage is made in collaboration with Jacuterie, an artisanal charcuterie company south of them, in Ancramdale, Columbia County, New York
- handfuls of red watercress from Dave’s Max Creek Hatchery (I still had a lot left), dressed with a good olive oil, Renieris Estate ‘Divina’ (a Koroneiki varietal), Hania, from Crete, purchased at the Chelsea Whole Foods Market, a bit of juice from a small organic California lemon (Sespe Creek Organics), also from Whole Foods, some local salt (Phil Karlin’s P.E. & D.D. Seafood Long Island Sound sea salt), and freshly ground black pepper
- slices of ‘Seedy Grains’ (wheat, spelt, rye, and barley organic bread flours; buckwheat; oats; flax sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds; water, and salt) from Lost Bread Co. in the Union Square Greenmarket
The main course pasta was as delicious as it was pretty.
- most of one garlic scape from Phillips Farms, chopped, followed by one small chopped shallot from Lucky Dog Organic Farm, slowly heated in a tablespoon or two of olive oil inside a large antique high-sided tin-lined heavy copper pan until they had begun to color and smell fragrant, followed by one sliced fresh habanada pepper from from Campo Rosso Farm, briefly stirred with the alliums before being joined by more than half a dozen or so halved Kalamata olives olives from Whole Foods Market, followed by the introduction of a still-frozen 10 ounce package of Rana portobello-mushroom-and-ricotta-filled ravioli from Eataly that had been cooked, al dente, immediately before, everything stirred together over a low flame, along with some of the reserved pasta water, until the liquid had emulsified, the pasta arranged inside 2 shallow bowls topped with a bit of shaved Parmigiano Reggiano from Whole Foods, olive oil drizzled on top and around the edges, the dish finished with a little micro purple radish from Windfall Farms
- the wine was a French (Beaujolais) red, Barbet Beaujolais Beau 2016, from Copake Wine
- the music was music of Laurence Crane, on the album, ‘Crane: Drones, Scales and Objects’, performed by the Cikada Ensemble, on the Norwegian record label LAWO Classics