Pasta Plenty

We always have a group of pasta dishes in any given week, and this one was no different. The comfort food for one dinner was pasta shells baked with mushrooms and cheeses, crispy and full of flavor, but not too rich. I threw in a side order of pan-roasted snap beans, to use them before it was too late. The wine was a very good Valpolicella from Bertani, a label I remember from the old days — 40 years ago, when the availability of Italian wines in America was just a tiny fraction of what we enjoy today.

I was alone for lunch one day, so I made Capellini with onion, garlic, chopped Gaeta olives, pine nuts and lemon zest — organized on the fly and quite enjoyable. A little Caponata on the side provided some requisite vegetables.

Each week I’ve been trying various offerings from Farmers to You, as I described recently (March 5). Here’s a snapshot of a lunch plate featuring their Braising Mix of Mustard Greens, plump Cherry Tomatoes (grown in soil), and Chestnut Mushrooms — all nicely matched with sautéed slices of my sourdough bread. A Portuguese wine I bought recently from Portugalia went very well with the meal. It was a 2016 Luis Pato blend of two grapes, Baga and Touriga Nacional, beautifully-made and able to cope felicitously with the bitter edge of the sautéed mustard greens.

There’s not much else to say, so I will close by sharing another visual treat — a stunning orchid in full blossom, flowering again two years after we first received it as a gift from our friend, Chris.

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