new year’s eve prosciutto; truffle agnolotti, pepper, chicory

And Champagne of course.

The picture above was taken in the subdued light of the dining gallery, which I normally can’t trust to be bright enough for an unblurred image. It worked this time, but I didn’t trust it for a second shot, so I took a picture of the pasta while it was still on the kitchen counter (nearly photobombed by a very old twisted wire trivet I’ve had for almost 50 years that I brought with me from Rhode Island in 1985).

It was New Years Eve, one of my favorite holidays (made it through another year!), and one we usually prefer to celebrate quietly at home with a simple supper and a complex champagne, each as elegant as possible for their respective attributes.

This year it involved, truffles, a beautiful radicchio, and an Aube sparkling (Champagne, but a younger vignoble, located south of the Marne).

The first course would have involved sea food in some form, had I been able to find something special, but this year’s holidays fell on days unfriendly to the local Greenmarket suppliers, and I didn’t want to chance the crowds in the 2 retail stores where I could have found something.

Instead, I splurged in the very best prosciutto I could find, and it happened to boast a rich red which anticipated the color of a chicory that literally jumped out of the main course that would follow it.

  • roughly 6 ounces of a 24 month prosciutto DOP Dall’Ava  D.O.K di San Daniele, of friuli, from Eataly Flatiron, drizzled with Frankies 457 Sicilian olive oil
  • local Bowery arugula from Foragers Market, dressed with the same olive oil, a bit of juice from an Whole Foods Market organic lemon, Maldon salt, and freshly-ground black pepper
  • a demi-baguette from Eataly I’d purchased just as it came out of the oven on 23rd Street
  • the wine was an Italian (Campania) white, Casa d’Ambra Ischia Bianco 2017, from Garnet Wines

The main course just sort of came together, almost by itself, once I spotted the black truffle agnolotti at Eataly: Great butter, black pepper, yes, and a generous amount, plus a good Parmesan (best slivered), and then the torn leaves of 2 tiny gorgeous crimson very late season chicories, and a drizzle of fine olive oil

  • thirteen ounces of black truffle agnolotti from the fresh pasta shop inside Eataly’s Flatiron (black truffle, porcini mushrooms, pecorino and romano cheeses), cooked very briefly, or until they had just popped to the surface of the water, drained and slipped into a large antique high-sided copper pot in which more than 3 tablespoons of Organic Valley ‘Cultured Pasture Butter’ had slowly been melted, arranged, half of it at a time, inside shallow bowls, finished by inserting leaves of 2 very small ‘heads’ of ‘Rosa di Campo Rosso’ radicchio (like the northern Italian tardivo) developed this year by Chris Field and Jessi Okamoto of Campo Rosso Farm, drizzled around the edges with a bit of Frankies 47 olive oil
  • the wine was more of the Ischian white, and then some from the bottle of another Italian (and again a Campania) white, Benito Ferrara Greco di Tufo 2017, also from Garnet Wines
At midnight, shortly after the main course, there were Italian dried figs and almonds from Foragers Market to share with the champagne toast.


  • the music throughout the evening, until midnight, was the final hours of live streaming of  the octonary WKCR Bachfest 2018 (at midnight, the live programmers let us down easily with another hour of Bach, and then ‘Jazz Til Dawn’ reminded me that I really loved cool jazz in the late 50s-early 60s (although we didn’t call it that then), and that I could go there again