pasta, pancetta, shallot, peppers, lemon, greens, parmesan


I had decided dinner would be a pasta. I had some very interesting dried forms and flavors, some of them portions remaining from already-opened packages. I thought of using some of the pancetta I had in the freezer, and I had not yet decided what to do with a very tasty green I had discovered a couple days earlier at the stall of 2 of the younger farmers at the Union Square Market.

The result was an improvised dish of whole wheat pasta with pancetta and ‘wrinkled crinkled cress’. There were a few other ingredients, and they were important, but they were basically there to enrich the basic ‘bones’.

And this is what ‘wrinkled crinkled cress’ look like, although the picture gives nothing away of the flavor, which, as I told Chris and Jessi, of Campo Rosso, in my surprise, was “like candy”.


  • two ounces of pancetta affettata from Buon Italia, cut into small cubes, one finely-chopped shallot from Keith’s Farm, cooked with a very little olive oil inside a large enameled cast iron pan over medium heat until all had begun to turn golden on the edges, the heat turned off and one finely-chopped heatless orange Habanada pepper from Norwich Meadows Farm and a finely-chopped part of one medium-hot red cherry pepper from Oak Grove Plantation added and stirred in, the pan set aside until 8 ounces of Sfogllini ‘Whole Grain Blend Trumpets’, had finished cooking, almost al dente, at which time the drained pasta was added to the sauce pot, stirred in and moistened with some of the reserved pasta cooking water, followed by a couple handfuls of ‘wrinkled crinkled cress’ from Camp Rosso Farm and about 1 1/2 tablespoons of freshly-squeezed lemon, which was also stirred in, served in shallow bowls and topped with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano Vacche Rosse from Buon Italia
  • the wine was a French (Savoie) white, Jean Perrier et Fils, Abymes 2015
  • the music was Per Nørgård, Symphony No. 6