Once again, we decided to have for TG nothing we’d ever tried before. We cooked this meal out of three issues of La Cucina Italiana (Italian version, which is very different from the Americanized one). The guys chose the recipes, and I thought they were fine choices.
The main course was freshly made pasta with a ragu (sauce) of wild boar meat (Ott 2014, p. 86). Could we find boar? Went to butchers at farmers’ markets and the only ones who said they could provide boar wanted to know if we wanted half a boar or a whole boar. Just a pound – really! D asked at Berkeley Bowl, and they said no, something about stores not being able to sell boar b/c it had to be overseen in a certain way… but then a few days ago, R called saying the Bowl actually had boar – in addition to kangaroo and camel – in a 1 lb package of ground meat, which is exactly what we needed. Even had a couple of days to defrost in the fridge.
OK, so the ragu is straightforward, once you find the boar meat. Chop up a stalk of celery, a carrot, and a medium onion, and saute gently in 2 tbsp olive oil, add the ground boar meat and cook for 5 minutes, add a cup of red wine, and a Tbsp tomato paste. Add thyme, sage, and rosemary, and cook for 1 1/2 hours; adjust the salt.
The pasta is made from three flours – the Bowl comes through again. Is there anything you can’t get there? 100 g each flour, 3 eggs, and a pinch of salt – mix, gather into a ball and let stand 30-40 minutes, then roll out. D chose to stop at the “4” thickness, which was quite thick, but very satisfying, too. He needed to add a bit more flour when rolling b/c the noodles were too sticky, but he got around to that on the third set. The noodles cooked 2 minutes, but there was probably another minute before they were drained, and some time from when they went in till the water reboiled. *save some of the water*
Serve the sauce over the pasta, adding in a bit of cooking water, and grate cheese over the top (D used Grana Padano). I also used cooking water to warm the bowls, briefly, before the pasta was poured in.
Carrots: cut a pound of carrots into little torpedos (slightly shorter than a finger), and use the 70g of chips you take off in the sauce. Cook the carrots in a couple “noci” (walnuts) of butter and a bit of water (2-3 “ladles” – how big is a “ladle?”) with a pinch of salt. Cover and cook 8-10 minutes, at which time it was supposed to be down to butter but was not. D just kept cooking them, turned them up, etc., and they finally were cooked, perhaps too much (the ones in the magazine just look glowingly glazed, not darkened), but whatever – they were very good.
Two more parts: Benriner a parsnip or “yellow carrot” and layer between parchment with another cooking pan on top, and cook 350 for 15 minutes. Ha. They are supposed to be crisps, but were steaming. After uncovering them and having no luck (meanwhile delaying the cooking of dessert) D just moved the carrots over and cooked the chips in the pan, and that worked. Meanwhile, R made the green sauce, using the little Cuisinart to mix 25 g parsley, the carrot leftover chips, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 10 g mustard seed, but we think it probably should have been ground mustard, and 100 g olive oil. It looked cute in this little glass. (Nov 2014, p. 130)
For the salad (Ott 2014, p. 108), I used (R reminded me) the Benriner with its julienne insert to carve up 250g celery root into matchsticks. D and I – he whisking, I pouring – made mayonnaise with two egg yolks, a tsp of white wine vinegar, a pinch of salt (needed more) and about 250 grams of peanut oil. To perhaps half of this, we added two truffles, which D cut into small bits. R cut up a bit of chervil (which D washed early in the day and left to dry) and D and I mixed the mayonnaise with most of the celery root matchsticks. Served over some curly lettuce that D found, which was unfortunately kind of bad in the middle but there was enough to use, and R scattered the chervil over the top. We ended up using salts over the top b/c it wanted them. We decided this was not as exciting as it looked, but might be if properly salted.
D made another good 2/3 size no-knead bread to go with dinner.
We had a Greek white wine for Cooking Wine and then finished it with the salad as first course. We had a Masi “Brolo Campofiorin” (Brolo=Clos, says the label) with the pasta and carrots, which R&I agreed would have been happier if opened quite awhile before drinking. Good enough, but not up to its price ($23) the way we had it. Bowl shelf mark said “Power and elegance; densely textured.” Grape is “Oseleta.”
R made dessert from a recent “speciale” issue of Cucina (#43, Dolci, p. 31). This required sheep ricotta, which the Bowl also provided. Thank you, Bowl.
I totally did not write this down, and am reconstructing from the photo, but I see the new bread, apparently, a salad with romaine… Oh, I remember – this was a leftover from an event at work, which had nice little meat bits in it – some sort of sausage and another meat – and also came with little vats of dressing. We liked the white one. I see celery, and three cheeses from the fridge. I definitely recognize the Krautersomething… Krauterschatz? – with the herbs on it – great cheese.
Finally, we had some of the last bottle of “Song Bird” rose from D’s Dad P’s gift case, which worked reasonably well with lunch.