Late, Quick Lunch

It was close to 2 PM, and I hadn’t even thought about lunch. My go-to meal in this situation is normally a pasta dish, so I searched the cabinets for a small bag of dried pasta, leftover from a previous larger meal. Success; I found a single portion of Penne pasta. Next step was to concoct some sort of a quick sauce, preferably something unusual — not the prosaic tomato sauce or pesto, which were handy but not interesting. I started with anchovies. One salt-packed Cetara anchovy from Campania was rinsed, desalted, and boned, producing two beautiful fillets, and I was off and running:

Ingredients

  • Penne pasta
  • anchovies, filleted and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbs. butter
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 large tomato. diced
  • 1 tbs. Tartufata
  • Preserved lemon paste
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Upland Cress
  • Pecorino cheese

Step number one was to start of large pot of water and bring it to a boil. When it reached the rolling boil stage, I added a handful of Kosher salt and then the Penne. This would cook for 14-15 minutes, while I prepared the sauce.

In my favorite sauté pan, I melted the butter, then added the garlic. When the garlic began to get some color, I added anchovies, followed by the olive oil and tomato pieces. When the tomato was fairly tender, I slipped in the Tartufata (mixture of finely chopped mushrooms and truffle), followed by a tsp. of Preserved Lemon Paste. When the pasta was cooked al dente, I added it to the sauté pan, along with 1/2 cup of hot pasta water. A handful or two or homemade breadcrumbs and a small bowl of Upland Cress leaves added texture and flavor. I sprinkled on a handful grated Pecorino and a gratuitous glug of Moroccan olive oil. The pasta was served with a 2017 Pretiosa, Albanello from Sicily. Molto bene!

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