22 October 2010 – Spaghetti with Gaeta olive tapenade and haricots; salad with wondrous tomatoes

D was cooking for this Friday night dinner. This is one of his staples – a really marvelous pasta he found in one of the earliest Chez Panisse cookbooks – Pasta, Pizza and Calzone.

He uses a mortar and pestle to make the tapenade, which contains Gaeta olives (these from Cheese Board), garlic, anchovies (salt-preserved ones from the Bowl), and some cognac, in a base of olive oil. The haricots are steamed to perfection, and tossed into the pasta with the tapenade.

He started the meal with a simple but not entirely reproducible salad of romaine and Dirty Girl Farm dry-farmed Early Girl tomatoes. These, of course, would have been spectacular with most any good dressing, but he used the oil that was left over from roasting tomatoes with garlic and thyme last week. Wow!!

Before even the salad course, D put out some crunchy veggies for us.




The wine was exceptionally good – an Acorn zinfandel blend from 2004 – but the 15% alcohol crept up and zapped my head something awful by morning. Need to drink more water or just share these bottles with more people. I would not want to give up this wine, with its beautiful complexity, but inviting more people might be in order.


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