halibut cheeks, onion, garlic, arugula; crab/ramp sacchetti

I’ve never cooked halibut cheeks before, and I don’t think I had even heard of sacchetti, or culurgiònesprior to looking up the words at home yesterday, having purchasing some of that exotic(?) filled pasta an hour earlier.

I’m happy that we were able to enjoy the two courses as I was able to put them together, with the help of the internet,  but the meal might eventually be better remembered better for what I learned about these foods, as I now feel better equipped to present them both more minimally and more naturally.

The halibut should probably be gently sautéed, in butter or olive oil, maybe with a little favorite fresh allium involved, and then finished with a bit of fresh lemon and an herb.

I don’t know why I decided not to go with the addition of a little tomato (fresh cherry tomato), especially since, yeaaah, I was working with shellfish, fish roe, and the first ramps of the season, but it’s now something I’m going to look forward to, that is, as long as Eataly’s Luca Donofrio decides to make these dumplings again.

Another confession: I ended up using the same garnish on the halibut that I had already decided to scatter on top of the pasta; I don’t know why, and I also don’t know what I had originally thought I would team with the fish.

  • a tablespoon or so of butter melted inside a large tin-lined copper sauté pan, one chopped medium red onion from Norwich Meadows Farm and 3 small sliced Rocambole garlic cloves from Keith’s Farm added and sautéed until translucent, then some salt; half of a tablespoon of scissored chives from Lucky Dog Organic Farm; the zest from almost one whole organic Whole Foods Market lemon, along with a little lemon juice; and one fourth of a cup of white wine added, after which the liquid was heated until reduced by a third, and one tablespoon of rinsed salted Sicilian capers stirred in, and 6 halibut cheeks (8 ounces) purchased from Eataly Flatiron that afternoon were slipped into the skillet and cooked, covered, for 3 minutes or so on on each side, the cheeks and the sauce arranged on 2 plates, garnished with chopped bronze fennel from Norwich Meadows Farm, plus a spray of that same herb as well [the basic recipe is on this site]
  • arugula from Norwich Meadows Farm, dressed with a small drizzle of Frankies 457 Sicilian olive oil, the gift of  a friend, Maldon salt, and freshly-ground black pepper

  • twelve ounces of a lump crab, fish roe, spring ramp, and mascarpone-filled pasta (called ‘culurgiones‘, ‘sacchetti‘, or ‘sacchettone‘) from from Luca Donofrio‘s fresh pasta shop inside Eataly’s Flatiron store, boiled carefully in a large amount of well-salted water, drained, some of the pasta water retained, slipped into a large antique high-sided tin-lined copper pot in which one sliced stem of spring garlic stem from Windfall Farms had been heated in a tablespoon or so of Portuguese olive oil, stirred over medium heat with the addition of some of the pasta water to emulsify the liquid, then some freshly-ground black pepper added, the pasta arranged inside 2 shallow bowls, more olive oil drizzled around the edges, garnished with chopped bronze fennel from Windfall Farms
  • the wine was a German (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer) white, Elbling, Furst 2016, from Astor Wines
  • the music was Beethoven’s ‘Die Geschöpfe Des Prometheus’ (The Creatures of Prometheus), Op.43, the complete ballet music, performed by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra