spaghetti with cabbage, garlic, anchovy, chili, bay, parsley


The immediate source of this recipe is Mark Bittman, but, like most good recipes, especially the simpler ones, it probably had a life of its own long before it was codified.

  • three rocambole garlic cloves from Keith’s Farm, plus three salted anchovies, rinsed and filleted, from Buon Italia, one whole dried peperoncino, also from Buon Italia, and three fresh bay leaves from Union Market, cooked together over medium heat in 3 tablespoons of olive oil inside a deep enameled cast iron pan until the garlic began to color, after which about a pound of shredded Savoy cabbage (the inner, lighter-green layers) from Hoeffner Farm was added, the heat raised to high and the mix cooked, stirred occasionally, until the cabbage browned a bit, then three quarters of a cup of vegetable stock introduced and cooked with the cabbage for about 5 or 10 more minutes, until the cabbage was cooked but not mushy, finally combined and stirred with about 12 ounces of Setaro ‘spaghetti chitarra’ which had been cooked al dente, some of the pasta cooking liquid poured in to moisten the mixture, seasoned with salt and pepper, and garnished with chopped parsley from Phillps Farm

  • the wine was an excellent Italian (Marche) white, Pievalta Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC Classico Superiore 2014

  • the music was, initially, Einar Englund’s String Quartet, and then an incredibly adventurous 1975 piece which I had bought as an LP the year it was recorded (I believe it was released in 1977), Ilhan Mimaroğlu’s ‘Session’, composed for the remarkable pianist, Idil Biret