squid ink pasta with fennel, tomato, spring onion


It was not a Greenmarket day, so there was no fish in the house, and I didn’t feel like preparing meat on the first day of summer.  I always have both dry and fresh (frozen) pasta, and I did have a small baby fennel bulb, an enormous amount of fennel fronds, some cherry tomatoes, and some spring red onions, and I was fain to use these seasonal gifts before they turned [there, I did it; I used ‘fain’ in an conventional context; it’s something I always wanted to do, although I knew I’d never have the nerve to use it in speech].

As it turned out, what I didn’t have, was a simple package of penne or any other stubby pasta.  I didn’t want to use long pasta, so I reached for the squid ink penne I’d been saving for something particularly appropriate to its strengths.

it wasn’t a completely successful improvisation, but, because it looked so exotic in the picture, I decided to post it anyway

  • a few Maine cherry ‘cocktail’ tomatoes from Whole Foods, partially cooked down in olive oil, one red spring onion from Tamarak Hollow Farm, split and pan-grilled, one young fennel bulb from Bodhitree Farm, sliced, along with its root, then also pan-grilled, and some dried red pepper flakes, all tossed with boiled Penne Rigate al Nero di sepia from Rustichella d’Abruzzo SpA, and finished with a drizzle of olive oil and some chopped fennel fronds
  • the wine was an Italian white, Villa Antinori Toscana 2012