Friday night dinner
After the New York trip, the weekend back at home was diverse and very enjoyable, too. Friday night we were at our friends David and Susan’s home for Shabbat dinner, which included another couple as well. The meal was amazing, and the whole evening was special. Appetizers included olives and nuts, along with grape tomatoes and smoked sea salt and sliced hearts of palm. The first course was in inventive dish of soba noodles and mango that was deep red from the juice of blood oranges. An excellent spinach salad with walnuts followed, and David asked us to provide bread, so Barbara’s challah and my whole grain Tartine bread went along with the meal. David had just been to Israel, and he had a special olive oil from a kibbutz there, which he shared with us all for the breads.
The next course was a full-flavored soup with farro, mushrooms and roasted eggplant. David supplied several delicious wines, and I brought a magnum of Sans Liege’s Transcendentalist, a GSM Rhône-style blend that went nicely. It was fun to be with wine enthusiasts who could share a large bottle with me.
Saturday and Tortellini di Ortica in Brodo
Along with the microgreens from the Greenmarket in New York, I returned with a small container of Stinging Nettles, one of my favorite vegetables and a promising harbinger of Springtime. Naturally, I decided to make homemade pasta and turn it into Tortellini in broth. This was an opportunity to enjoy the nettles (ortica in Italian) and to supplement it with some Swiss chard (not enough nettles to do it alone) and almond milk ricotta. Here is the recipe. My photos below show the filling, which is then rolled into balls for the tortellini, followed by the pasta simmering in the pot, and finally served in a bowl. Barbara helped me a lot making the tortellini, or we would still be waiting for dinner now.