caprese, radicchio; pasta, 2 fennels, 2 peppers, allium, chili


We eat at home almost every night, but it was an anniversary, so we had made dinner reservations for Saturday night, at a restaurant in Bushwick which we had really liked on a previous visit. A few hours before we were to leave the apartment, knowing we would have to battle some mean heat and humidity before we got there, we decided to continue enjoying our good humor and cancel, vowing to do it another day.

We had done without it all day, but I now turned the AC on in the kitchen and breakfast room area, then checked the refrigerator and the larder to see what I could put together.

I came up with something that, under those circumstances, really had no right to taste as good as it did.

  • a caprese salad which repeated the process of the night before, but on a much smaller scale, and this time included a ‘bed’ of leaves from a head of radicchio from Tamrack Hollow Farm
  • slices of a loaf of Bien Cuit ‘Campagne’ from Foragers Market


  • about 8 ounces of Setaro Penne Rigatoni, from Buon Italia, tossed with a sauce which started with 2 chopped garlic cloves from Alewife Farm and a tablespoon or so of dry fennel seed heated in olive oil inside a large cast iron enameled pot until fragrant, adding a little cherry bomb/red bomb pepper from Norwich Meadows Farm, finely slivered, and a couple handfuls of seeded and chopped sweet peppers of various colors and shapes from Campo Rosso Farm, were sautéed until softened, finished with one good-sized, bulbous red scallion from Rise & Root Farm, sliced, again sautéed until soft, the mix emulsified with some of the reserved pasta cooking water, then scooped into bowls, and garnished with micro bronze fennel from Two Guys from Woodbridge