bresaola, arugula; mushroom ravioli, scapes, olives, pinoli

There really isn’t much reason to describe this meal in a Food Blog post, since I’ve assembled similar versions of each of these 2 courses so often in the past, but there are always differences, some subtle and some not, and they don’t always end up tasting as good as they did this time.

The antipasto, which began the meal, was simple enough. We like dried beef, and even when it’s not spectacular, we consider it a treat. While we both thought this particular imported bresaola wasn’t as spectacular as the domestic we usually enjoy (both normally come from Eataly’s shelves).  The arugula however was really wonderful.

  • four ounces of sliced Bresaola Organic Bernini from Uruguay (so maybe it’s proper name would be charque, via Eataly Flatiron, drizzled with a good Campania olive oil (Lamparelli O.R.O.) and a bit of juice freshly squeezed from on organic Whole Foods Market lemon

  • a handful of very peppery baby arugula, or rucola, from Windfall Farms, dressed with more of the same olive oil and lemon, plus Maldon salt, and freshly-ground black pepper
  • slices of ‘El Bario Sourdough’ from Hot Bread Kitchen

The main course, only a little more complex than the appetizer, was a prepared mushroom ravioli, one of the several kinds of filled pasta that I buy to place in the freezer as a standby entrée, for the nights when I may not have have the time or the energy to create a meal from scratch. It’s incredibly convenient, and the pasta doesn’t even have to be defrosted.

We’re never disappointed with the dishes it inspires. The ‘trimmings’ really make this dish, and this time they included garlic scapes at the start with a delicious fennel blossom garnish to finish.

  • ten ounces of Rana portobello-mushroom-and-ricotta-filled ravioli rounds from Eataly Flatiron, boiled al dente inside a large pot of well-salted water for 2 minutes, drained, slipped into a large vintage tin-lined copper pan in which two slice-sectioned garlic scapes from Berried Treasures farm, a small chopped portion of a medium hot bright red aji rico pepper from Alewife Farm, and a bit of a dried habanada pepper had been briefly sautéed (warmed, basically) in a tablespoon or so of olive oil, a bit of pasta water added and the mix stirred over a moderate to high flame until the liquid had emulsified, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, a dozen or so pitted Gaeta olives from Buon Italia stirred in, the contents of the pot placed in shallow bowls, finished with a drizzle of olive oil around the edges, a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts, and a garnish of scissored flowering fennel from Lani’s Farm
  • the wine was a California (Lodi) red, Jacqueline Bahue Lodi Cabernet Franc 2017, from Naked Wines
  • the music was the album, ‘Restless, Endless, Tactless – Johanna Beyer and the Birth of American Percussion Music’ (wow, where has Johanna Beyer been all of our lives? her music is really wonderful, and so ahead of her times)