salume; spaghetti aglio olio peperoncino; formaggio, tosta

The pasta part of this dinner of 3 small courses was another opportunity to show what a real difference a very good artisanal pasta can make.

The antipasto that precede it was identical to one we had enjoyed 2 days earlier, except that there was a different bread this time.

While I’m looking at the image above, of the pasta, I’m reminded of how much I like what happens to the whole little peperoncini after they mix with some warm oil: they assume a luscious candy apple metallic red surface and color I’ve always associated with vintage 50s hot rods..

The course was almost as simple as it gets: Spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino, but, as I’ve written before, the ingredients have to be the very best available or the dish won’t be what it’s supposed to be, which is, really really great.

  • three minced Rocambole garlic cloves from Keith’s Farm heated gently over medium-low heat  inside a large antique tin-lined copper pot until softened and beginning to turn golden, 2 salted Italian anchovies from Buon Italia, thoroughly rinsed, filleted, and chopped, added, stirred in and mashed with a wooden spoon, followed by 2 whole dried peperoncino Calabresi secchia, along with one crushed section, from Buon Italia, and one half of a quarter cup of chopped parsley from Westside Market plus a few ounces of the pasta cooking water, the sauce allowed to simmer for a minute or two before 8 ounces of boiled Setaro spaghetti from Buon Italia, drained while it was still a little chewy in the center, was introduced into the pot, the heat turned up and the mix stirred over the flame for a minute or so, or until done to taste (maybe forget the “to taste” part, as that might be impossible to determine at this juncture), arranged in shallow bowls and the remainder of the chopped parsley sprinkled over the top

There was a third, simple cheese course to match the minimalism of the first two.

  • two cheeses from Consider Bardwell Farm, ‘Danby’, a goat milk cheese, and  ‘Pawlet Reconsidered’, from cow’s milk
  • toasts from the last of a loaf of 12 Grain & Seed bread from Bread Alone