NY pasta, spring garlic; NJ greens; CA lemon; IT chili, pinoli

I was about to write that this quick pasta dish with many local ingredients also happens to be vegan, but then I remembered that the excellent NYC spaccatelli around which it was assembled included an unusual, local, ingredient, Asbury NJ buffalo milk.

The other remarkable thing about this dish is what appears, from the picture, to be a very generous amount of toasted pine nuts; their numbers are actually something of an optical illusion, and they’re only lying on the very top.  I can’t deny however, since the market price for this delicious Italian ingredient varies a great deal, that I’ve always been at least a little sensitive to those fluctuations when I’m deciding whether I’m going to use them in a dish, and how many.

  • two sliced spring garlic stems from John D. Madura Farm on Long Island and 2 whole dried peperoncini Calabresi secchia from Buon Italia heated in a tablespoon or so of Whole Foods Market house Portuguese olive oil inside a large, heavy, antique high-sided copper pan over moderate heat, stirring, until the garlic had softened, the zest from a whole organic California lemon from Whole Foods Market mixed in, followed by stirring in half of a one-pound package of New York City pasta, Sfoglini‘s spaccatelli (local organic durum semolina and organic hard red wheat flour, New Jersey Riverine Ranch water buffalo milk, local water), picked up at the water buffalo farmer’s stall in the Union Square Greenmarket, that had just finished cooking until barely al dente, before 1/4 of a cup of reserved pasta cooking water was added to the pan and cooked over moderately low heat, tossing until combined well and the sauce had emulsified, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, then, after the heat was turned off, most of 2 handfuls of tender red baby mustard from Lani’s Farm in New Jersey tossed in and around at the last moment, just before the pasta left the pan and was arranged in shallow bowls, where the remaining mustard was added around the edges, some toasted pine nuts, or pinoli [I’ve always thought they were from northern Italy, from a weather-vulnerable monoculture, which allowed me to understand the wild price changes, and for the purpose of this post, I’m going to assume these were, although I don’t really know, and now it seems unlikely to me] tossed on top, finished with a bit of olive oil drizzled around the outside of the pasta
  • the wine was a Portuguese (Lisbon) white, Dory Branco 2016, from Garnet Wines    
  • the music was the Anna Thorvaldsdottir album, ‘In the Light of Air’, performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)