This has been an interesting food month so far. We still are getting late summer vegetables from Small Farm, including excellent tomatoes and corn. It’s also a time I go exploring in the city for wine, cheese, bread, fresh pasta, and specialty items.
There are two newly-created pasta dishes I wanted to share with you. Tonight I made a Baked Fettuccine with Tomatoes, Lentils, Burratina, and Gaeta Black Olives. Somehow, the texture of the lentils, the sweetness of the tomato sauce, and the contrasts of the cheeses and olives worked beautifully. The fresh tomato fettuccine from Monica’s pasta shop on Richmond Street in Boston’s North End was also excellent, as was the Burratina imported from Puglia by that same shop.
The second pasta dish was inspired by a recent purchase of littleneck clams. I had not been attracted to these wonderful bi-valves for several months, which is probably good, but now it was time again to enjoy them. I called the dish Clams and Pasta in the Style of the Amalfi Coast, although I might be hard-pressed to document that title’s authenticity. Anyway, I love the region, its food and wines, so that’s what I will call it.
The final dish I wanted to tell you about was a salad: Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Tomatoes. I wanted to do something with Black-Eyed Peas. I had some lovely dried Portuguese black-eyed peas that I bought along with terrific Chickpeas at a local Portuguese grocer, so here was my chance. On a recent Sunday afternoon I cooked the beans. While they were in process, a little online research produced a good-looking recipe, so I used that as a model and adapted it to what I had available. Here’s the recipe online:
I had no fennel, but most everything else, including top-notch farm-fresh tomatoes, dill, and good Greek Feta cheese. I also had some sweet red peppers I had previously roasted and peeled, so I added them in to the dish. Color and flavor were all I could hope for, and I got 2 or 3 lunches out of the effort. If I recall correctly, a 2017 Muscadet Les Houx was an effective pairing.