Most of the news for the past two weeks has been the heavy snows. Three Nor’easter storms delivered over 40 inches (1 meter) of new snow in just 11 days. We survived, as most New Englanders do. And we marked our endurance and good fortune by taking artistic photos of our snow-filled landscape, and by cooking.
I even found an opportunity to do a Waterlogue version of a Cambridge view of Boston and the Charles River from in front of MIT’s Great Dome:
The best lunch of the week was the result of my expedition into Watertown. I went to buy a specially good Pecan Butter from Fastachi, but I also visited several of my favorite Armenian markets for some of their goodies. One new item was a jar of “Georgian fried vegetables” which looked enticing. It turned out to be a terrific mixture of eggplant, garlic, onions, celery, sweet peppers, and olive oil — velvety smooth, unctuous, and delicious.
Another recent purchase were several breads from Clear Flour in Boston, perhaps the best bakery on the East Coast. Several slices of the Epi bread and a few of the Rustic Spicy Olive bread were perfect foils for the vegetable spread.
Much to my amazement I remembered that I had purchased a bottle of Georgian wine, a red blend named Sachino, so I pulled it out of the cellar and poured several glasses — a most favorable accompaniment.
Homemade Spinach Tagliatelle with Asparagus Sauce
Having successfully made a batch of tagliatelle a couple of weeks ago, I chose to make a green pasta version with fresh spinach puréed into the dough. Again, the simple proportions of 200 grams of double-zero Italian flour mixed with two whole eggs provided the base. The spinach was washed and dried, but not cooked (an Alice Waters recipe from Chez Panisse Pasta). I used less than 1/2 cup of the purée, but it still made the dough wetter than I would have liked, so I compensated by using a good bit of flour when kneading and rolling the dough.
I folded the sheets of dough and hand-cut the tagliatelle to supply my spinach noodles. The sauce was simple: just a finely diced half of an onion, cooked slowly in 1 Tbs. of butter and another Tbs. of olive oil, plus one bunch of asparagus, trimmed, cut, blanched, and then sautéed with the onion. All was finished with the noodles stirred with the sauce, some pasta water and almost a cup of grated Parmesan cheese. The wine was a very good natural Grillo from Sicily, which did an exceptional job pairing successfully with asparagus — not an easy trick. Thank you, Eileen and Social Wines!
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