porchetta, wild cress; burnt orecchietti, shallot, espelette

I’m becoming fond of porchetta, although serving it doesn’t leave me any room to exercise my cooking skills, whatever they may be.

  • slices of Piacenti roasted porchetta (5 ounces) from Eataly Flatiron, drizzled with a little good Trader Joe’s olive oil
  • wild cress from Lani’s Farm dressed with the same olive oil, Maldon salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a little organic lemon from Chelsea Whole Foods Market
  • slices from a loaf of Gran Daisy Pugliese bread from Foragers

Assembling a meal with a prepared pasta, fresh or dried, can be almost as ho-hum. Although there’s a little more room for creativity in its case, this time I did very little to alter the product from what it had been when it came off the shelf. It was delicious, and still my sense of self worth as a cook managed to survive.

  • one finely-sliced ‘yellow shallot from Norwich Meadows Farm softened in a tablespoon or so of olive oil inside a large antique copper pot, joined by 8 ounces (dry weight) of a package of a smoky Agricola del Sole ‘Orecchiette di Grano Arsopasta‘ [Eng. ‘burnt grain’], from Eataly, that had just been cooked al dente, along with some of reserved pasta water, stirred over a high flame until the liquid had emulsified, a (judicious) amount of crushed dried red espelette peppers (which are mostly medium hot, but not always) from Alewife Farm, salt, and pepper mixed in, the pasta arranged in shallow bowls, olive oil drizzled around the edges, a small amount of toasted homemade breadcrumbs sprinkled on top, finished with micro red mustard from Two Guys from Woodbridge