squid ink fettuccine, crabmeat, chili, parsley, lovage, lemon


I had planned to put together only a plain pasta dish last night, although it might have included this squid ink fettuccine already in the larder, but while I was at Whole Foods to pick up milk and juice, I remembered they carried some decent fresh crab meat, from Virginia (which is not really so far down the coast, and therefore almost local). The crab ended up describing the dinner.

I had prepared something fairly similar early in 2015, using a very simple recipe by Frank Camora, but with a very different pasta.

  • one seeded medium-hot cherry red pepper from Eatlay, heated gently in olive oil along with one two German Hardneck garlic cloves from Race Farm, all sliced thinly, until they started to sizzle, the heat turned up for a short time while a quarter cup of white wine was added, the pan removed from the heat and about one quarter of an 8-ounce container of crabmeat, Little River Brand, which I believe is from the Chesapeake Bay, purchased at Whole Food, added to and crushed in the oil, the pan returned to a very low heat where the contents begin to emulsify as a sauce; in the meantime half a pound of pasta (Al Dente Pasta Company artisanal squid ink fettuccine), which had been boiling for barely 3 minutes in a large pot of salted water, 3 cups or so of the water removed near the end, for adding to the mix later, the fettuccine drained and tossed with the sauce (which was removed from the heat just before), the remaining crabmeat then added and stirred in, along with the addition of enough pasta water to continue emulsifying the mix, and a generous amount of chopped parsley and lovage from Keith’s Farm sprinkled into it and garnishing the bowls when served
  • lemon quarters were served on the side, to be generously squeezed onto the pasta


There was a cheese course, with almost the very smallest amount of cheese. It included figs, and toast as well, the excuse being that the bread itself contained fruit.

  • a bit of ‘Slybro’ goat cheese from Consider Bardwell (there were 2 small pieces on each plate), fresh black, or ‘Brown Turkey’ figs from Eataly, and thin toasts from a loaf of organic whole wheat raisin bread from Whole Foods
  • the wine was an Italian (Friuli-Venezia) white, Scarpetta Frico Bianco delle Venezie 2014
  • the music was from the album, ‘Approaching Dutilleux‘, from the Riot Ensemble, and it included Arne Gieshoff’s wonderful, ‘Wucherung’ (2014), for solo oboe; as usual for this composer, it’s an absolutely fantastic piece: to me all musical instruments are alive, at the very least from the moment they are heard, but Rebecca Cass’s oboe sounds very much like a living, breathing, and very human being; even people who think they’re not interested in new music – or classical music – would likely be moved by this elegant, and, I suspect, deceivingly simple work, and not just while relaxing in good company after a good dinner