spaghetti, sweet peppers, hot pepper bit, leek, micro basil


Neither of us ever tires of eating peppers, sweet or hot, so I find it hard to avoid a display of either in the Union Square Greenmarket (or any farmers’ market). I was surprised that the particular beauties I sautéed last night, seen in the picture above, had been waiting in the refrigerator for days.


  • two garlic cloves from Norwich Meadows Farm, roughly-sliced, sautéed in olive oil inside a deep enameled cast iron pot large enough to hold the pasta once it was cooked [note: normally I would have immediately followed that with a tablespoon or so of dry fennel seed and heated it until pungent, but I this time I just forgot], followed by small multi-colored bell peppers from Stokes Fram, seeds and pith removed, roughly sliced, plus a little bit of ‘cherry bomb’ [or ‘red bomb’] peppers from Norwich Meadows Farm, also seeded and deveined, cut into slivers, the slivers cut in half (to be able to spot and remove some of them, should they turn out to be too spicy-hot), all the peppers sautéed until tender, and, near the end, joined for a minute or two by 5 very small French leeks from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm, sliced into quarter-inch segments, the completed mix then seasoned with salt and freshly-ground black pepper and combined in the sauce pot with pasta which had been cooked al dente and drained (about 8 ounces from a package of Setaro spaghetti chitarra from Buon Italia), some reserved pasta water added and used to emulsify the sauce by stirring over low heat, the whole garnished in the individual shallow pasta bowls with micro purple basil from Two Guys from Woodbridge
  • the wine was an Italian (Tuscany) white, Val di Toro Auramaris 2014 (with Vermentino and Grechetto grapes)
  • the music was Symphony No. 1 and 2, by the early nineteenth-century composer Ferdinand Ries (both pupil of and assistant to Beethoven), performed by Howard Griffiths directing the Zurich Chamber Orchestra