bocconcini; sunchoke fusilli, garlic scapes, chilis, olives, dill

I think of the fairly simple pasta courses I scatter between more serious or composed meat and fish entrées as something like ‘intervals’ between acts, but they’re usually at least as satisfying as what would normally be called more main event dinners.

As this one was.

There was also a simple antipasto this time.

  • five bocconcini, from Flatiron Eataly, divided onto 2 oval plates, that had already been mixed with olive oil, crushed dried red pepper, dried oregano, and dried basil (I don’t know why I didn’t buy the plain version and season it myself, unless I was thinking of how I used to buy them regularly in the 80’s and early 90’s from a shop in Little Italy, Piemonte Ravioli)
  • slices of ‘Whole wheat Redeemer Bread’ (hard red redeemer winter wheat, water, salt) from Lost Bread Co. out of Philadelphia, via the Union Square Greenmarket
  • the wine for the first course, purchased at Foragers, was a Spanish (Castilla-La Mancha) white, a verdejo, Friend and Farmer White Wine, from Foragers Market Wine

The main, or second course was almost as straightforward.

  • two broadly sliced garlic scapes from Eckerton Hill Farm, plus a bit of crushed smoked dried jalapeño pepper, also from Eckerton, and a pinch of dried habanada, all heated in a little olive oil inside a large antique copper pot until the garlic had softened, before 8 ounces of a locally-sourced and locally-produced artisanal pasta, a ‘Jerusalem Artichoke Fusilli’ from Norwich Meadows Farm which incorporates their own sunchokes (the name I like to us when I can, since neither Jerusalem nor the artichoke has anything to do this these native American tubers), cooked only until al dente, then drained, and tossed into the pot along with almost a cup of the reserved cooking water, where the pasta was stirred over high flame until the liquid had emulsified, a handful of pitted Greek kalamata olives added to the mix before some of the pasta was divided into 2 shallow bowls where some chopped fresh dill from Stokes Farm was scattered over the top, finished with some homemade breadcrumbs, mixed with a little salt, that had been toasted in a small cast iron skillet
  • the wine for the second course was a New York (Hudson River) red, Cabernet Franc – Bruynswick Vineyard, 2017, from Wild Arc Farm