What's for Dinner? Pretty Pasta!
I was feeling inspired to make something nice for dinner, but I wanted something easy. I went to the gym after work (yay, me!) and didn't finish up until almost 8:30pm. Remembering that I still had the Foglie D'Autunno pasta that I picked up at the West Point Market in Ohio, I decided to make a quick run to Whole Foods for some basil, Parmigiano Reggiano, bread and a bottle of wine to go with the sun dried tomatoes and olive oil I already had at home.
Foglie D'Autunno,which translates to the 'leaves of autumn,' is a rustic Italian pasta that's made by Castellana in Apulia, the 'heel' of Italy. It tastes like pasta, so it's nothing special in that regard, it's just that it's so pretty! The colors are made with various vegetable powders—and squid ink!
At Whole Foods, I ended up buying a Pecorino Tartufello, which is an Italian sheep's whole pieces of black truffles, instead of the Parmigiano. I wasn't positive that it would work with the basil and the sun dried tomatoes, but I love truffles so I thought I'd give it a try. The wine I chose was the Da Vinci 2005 Chianti Classico. I've been wanting to try this for a while. The 2004 was highly rated for such an inexpensive wine—the 2005 was $10.99. I also picked up some Sicilian-style marinated olives and a small loaf of Ciabatta (Italian 'slipper' bread, named for it's shape).
I tossed the pasta with Frantoia, an Italian olive oil that was a favorite at the Chopping Block and one of mine as well. I added the basil and sun dried tomatoes, both of which I sliced chiffonade (in thin strips). The Pecorino Tartufello was pretty powerful so I only used a little; I used a vegetable peeler to make thin slivers to top the pasta. I warmed the bread, sliced it, and poured a little more of the Frantoia into a saucer for dipping. I also added a couple the olives on the side to complete the meal.
Everything went together pretty well. The wine wasn't the best match—I guessed when I picked it up that it might be a little too fruity to stand up to the truffles and the olives, and I was right. I think it would go better with a tomato-based sauce or a regular Pecorino. But the wine that I thought would match perfectly was $20, so this was good enough! It made for a rustically simple meal, but it was quite satisfying and again, very pretty! Not quite as exciting as the Digg party I'm missing right now (I'm listening to it enviously via Justin.tv; it sounds fun!) but it'll do.