sunchoke and kale fusilli with onion, celery, chili, wild cress

Our most local fish stand was missing from our Chelsea’s Down to Earth Farmers Market on Saturday (it’s only a couple hundred feet from our door). At that time of the afternoon, although I knew there would be 3 seafood stalls at the Union Square Greenmarket, I wasn’t excited about going there, especially since I didn’t really need any other fresh produce.

I decided to put together a pasta.

Just the day before I had bought a package of some beautiful, very hearty-looking artisanal fusilli at Norwich Meadows Farm, incorporating their own vegetables, and possibly made by Sfoglini, although there I could find no identification of the maker. It seemed this would be the time to try it out. I knew I wouldn’t need – and didn’t want – to add much to the interesting 50/50 combination of sunchoke and kale fusilli, but I did have some slightly special onions I also wanted to try out. The remaining few ingredients then more or less fell into place.

  • four or five thinly-sliced mild-flavored semi-flat Stuttgarter onions from Quarton Farm, sautéed until quite soft in a couple tablespoons of olive oil inside a large antique vertical-sided copper pot, sliced stems of celery from from Neversink Organic Farm added halfway through, along with half of a dried crumbled red shishito pepper from Eckerton Hill Farm, and a fairly generous amount of roughly-chopped celery leaves near the end, then 8 ounces of a fusilli pasta from Norwich Meadows Farm, half of the pieces using sunchokes and half kale, cooked al dente and drained, tossed into the mixture, stirred with more than half of a cup of reserved pasta cooking water until the liquid had emulsified, the pasta seasoned with sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, and arranged in shallow bowls, circled with wild cress from Lani’s Farm, drizzled around the edges with olive oil
  • the wine was an Italian (Calabria) white, Scala, Ciro Bianco, 2017, from Flatiron Wines 
  • the music was Mark-Anthony Turnage’s remarkable 69-minute 1993-1996 nine-movement suite for jazz trio and large ensemble, ‘Blood On The Floor’, titled after the painting by Francis Bacon, which the composer has asked be seen only as a starting point, similarly to its relation to the family tragedy which inspired it, the news of the death of his younger brother Andy from a drug overdose