Friday, April 21, 2006

Pasta con tutto

The family returned today, and I went to the coop this morning in anticipation, where I found lovely fresh fava beans. Shelled, and slow-cooked with shallot, garlic, lots of fresh oregano, grape tomatoes, diced celery root and a quarter lemon, after two hours they were like butter. Milo loved them. Then I cooked up a bag of penne, and once al dente tossed with the fava beans, plus green and black olives, parsley, more garlic, pepperoncino, leftover asparagus and carrot and leftover potatoes from rib night (all chopped) plus a big glug of the good olive oil, celtic salt, and pepper. Tossed together it went really well with a 2001 Kristial Châteauneuf-de-Pâpe which is nimble enough for the brighter flavors but has enough depth for the earthy beans.

Kind of a warm pasta salad, this dish is a variation on something I invented out of desperation during grad school; I called it "puttanesca bianca" and it was usually penne tossed with olives, capers, pepperoncino, parsley, dried tomatoes, soaked dried porcini and lots of salt and oil. A damn fine plate of pasta, and even better the next day- all without having to remember the can of tomatoes. Almost anything works, including most leftovers.

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