rye pasta with savoy cabbage, garlic, anchovy, peperoncino

I wasn’t sure this would work out.

I had been hoping to enjoy an evening meal that would be almost like a day off, or at least something close to it, by putting together a simple pasta. I never take these simple pasta breaks too lightly however, because with a little creativity and a very good pasta, they can be pretty awesome (I think one of pasta’s most appealing qualities of pasta is it’s ability to show off other, often very special ingredients by lightening their intensity with its almost neutral presence, making them both more subtle, sophisticated, and enjoyable.

That’s something like what I was hoping for, and I did have a lot of possibilities in the “special ingredients” category, but then I remembered that I had a small head of Savoy cabbage in the back of the crisper, but I also remembered that it had been there for weeks, probably at least a month and a half. I felt now was the time to use it.

The bit of wine left in a bottle of a Pfalz Scheurebe that I would be using had also been hanging around for a while, but not so long as the cabbage, more like a matter of days than weeks; we had opened it and shared it as an aperitif only the week before.

So there was a chance the whole thing might not work out, but I thought the odds were in favor of its success, and so I didn’t share my initial concerns with Barry.

What I didn’t expect was to be almost bowled over by its goodness when we sat down to eat it. Hurrah for cabbage and German wine!

I used Mark Bittman’s recipe for the pasta, following it pretty much to the letter, although I reduced its proportions by 50%. I used a very different pasta from the one he indicates, and I finished it with lovage rather than parsley, and garnished it further with a bit of chive I had just purchased that day.

  • In last night’s (somewhat altered) incarnation of Bittman’s recipe there were 8 ounces of Sfoglini rye trumpets (organic rye flour, organic durum semolina flour, water); 2 cloves of dry garlic from Foragers Market; 2 rinsed salted anchovies, 2 bay leaves, and one dry Calabrian peperoncino, all from Buon Italia; 9 ounces of shredded Savoy cabbage from Norwich Meadows Farm; a quarter cup of a Weinhaus Meßmer 2015 Pfalz Scheurebe, from Burrweiler; a bit of dried orange/golden habanada; some chopped lovage from Two Guys from Woodbridge; and scissored chives from Lani’s Farm; and I added a bit of olive oil around the pasta once it had been arranged in 2 shallow bowls
  • the wine was an Italian (Tuscany) white, Antinori Toscana Bianco Villa Antinori 2015, from Garnet Wines
  • the music was the album, ‘Thea Musgrave, Chamber Works For Oboe’, featuring works dominated by Nicholas Daniel on oboe