penne, fennel seed, garlic, red onion, tiny peppers, oregano


Yes, it seem that this meal was genuinely vegan, but we only realized it after we had sat down to it (which tell us all something about our usual dining habits).  In any event, it was really, really good, and also an excellent companion to a good bottle of wine, something I would worry about if I were ever to give up all animal products.

The recipe was my own invention, representing both what I had on hand and my almost insatiable appetite for excellent artisanal pasta, also always on hand.

  • two finely-sliced garlic cloves from Norwich Meadows Farm sautéed in olive oil in a deep enameled pot large enough to hold the pasta once it was cooked, followed by a tablespoon or so of dry fennel seed, heated until pungent, 2 thinly-sliced medium red onions, also from Norwich Meadows Farm, added and stirred until almost fully soft, 2 handfuls of very small ‘lunchbox’ peppers from Norwich Meadows Farm, plus 3 late-season (and therefore pretty mild) thin Cayenne red peppers from Oak Grove Plantation, each seeded, deveined, and halved or quartered and also sautéed until tender, the completed mix seasoned with salt and freshly-ground black pepper, combined in the sauce pot with cooked and drained Setaro penne rigatoni from Buon Italia (about fourteen ounces of a larger package), including some of the reserved pasta water, which was emulsified over low heat, the whole tossed with fresh chopped oregano from Rise & Root Farm
  • the wine was an Italian (Tuscany) white, Villa Antinori Toscana 2013
  • the music was Sibelius, Symphony No. 1, with Paavo Berglund conducting the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, which premiered it in 1899, conducted by the composer