croxetti, brown butter, pinoli, habanada, oregano, parsley

It’s just pasta, supposedly, and the ingredients are virtually identical to so many others but, through the mystery of shape, terroir, process, and tradition, croxetti never tastes like any other.

We’ve enjoyed it at home several times, but not in the form we enjoyed last night. I didn’t know what exactly to expect, but I wasn’t disappointed.

  • four ounces of Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter, melted over medium heat inside, ideally, a medium non-reactive pan, gently swirling until the butter had begun to turn golden brown, or about 5 minutes, one whole section, crushed, of a golden orange dried habanada pepper then added, followed by a fourth of a cup or more of pine nuts (pinoli) which had earlier been scattered on a small metal baking sheet and toasted inside a 325º oven for about 15 minutes, about half a teaspoon of sea salt, a bit of freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper, and half of a 2 tablespoon mixture of fresh oregano from Lani’s Farm and parsley from Whole Foods, both chopped, the sauce tossed with 8 ounces of a package of Genovese Alta Valle Scrivia Croxetti from Eataly, the mix stirred over a low to medium flame with some reserved pasta water to emulsify it, then arranged inside 2 shallow bowls, a bit of olive oil drizzled around the edges, and topped with a small amount of Parmigiano-Reggiano Vache Rosse from Eataly before it was sprinkled with the remaining chopped herbs
  • the wine was a California (Sonoma) white, Jacqueline Bahue Carte Blanche Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma Valley 2016, from Naked Wines
  • the music was chamber music by Vagn Holmboe (1909-1996), performed by Ensemble MidtVest