spaghetto aglio et olio; four local artisanal cheeses

Neapolitan pasta, Sicilian garlic, and Calabrian peperoncino.

I made it intentionally simple, to make it easier to appreciate the artisanal pasta, and to make it more likely we’d want to sample some of the excellent cheeses I’d been assembling lately.  US cheeses, including those produced by local farmers in the New York area, are better than ever

  • eight ounces of Afeltra 100% Italian grain pasta artigianale spaghetto from Eataly Flatiron,  boiled al dente, then tossed into large antique copper pot and mixed with a simple sauce made with 4 fairly thinly sliced rocambole garlic cloves from Keith’s Farm and 2 crushed dried peperoncini Calabresi secchia from Buon Italia that had been heated in one third of a cup of olive oil over a low-to-medium flame for about 2 minutes, or until the garlic had barely begun to color, some of the reserved pasta water added after the spaghetto had been coated with the sauce, everything stirred over high heat until the liquid had emulsified and the sauce thickened
  • the music during the first course was the album, ‘Settecento Veneziano’, performed by Accademia Bizantina, conducted by Ottavio Dantone

There was a somewhat bracing cheese course

  • four cheeses, moving from left to right in the picture above: an aged water buffalo milk cheese from Riverine Ranch (still unnamed), that same farm’s water buffalo milk brie, Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse’s ‘Baudolino’ aged cow’s milk cheese cured in a pinot noir grape must, and a ‘Bardem Blue’ cow’s milk cheese from Consider Bardwell Farm
  • slices of She Wolf Bakery miche
  • the music during this part of the meal was the 2005 ECM album, ‘Lontano’, by Polish jazz trumpeter and composer Tomasz Stańko