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Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Sausage, linguini, and a giglio


Basil garlic linguini with roasted pepper sausage, red bell pepper, chantarelle mushrooms, thyme, and asiago

I bought the fresh linguini from The Ravioli Store. Lane chose the sausage (chicken and turkey by Applegate Farms) and the pepper, and I added the chantarelles. I cut the thyme from my rooftop garden. I was going to roast the pepper my usual lazy way, by holding it over the gas flame to blister the skin, keeping it in a paper bag for a few minutes, and then rinsing the skin off. But Lane had already cut up the pepper for me. So I softened the pieces in some olive oil (which also infused the oil with its flavor) with garlic, then added the sausage.

Fresh pasta makes me nervous because it takes so very little time to cook. I have made many a gloppy noodle dishes with fresh pasta. This time my plan was to cook the noodles just long enough to add the chopped chantarelles to the sausage and pepper mixture. Then I would drain the pasta and by then the mushrooms would be just heated enough. But I realized too late that the colander needed to be washed -- I scrubbed it quickly and then drained the pasta, which still turned out all right. I mixed the sausage and peppers with the noodles and the thyme and topped it all with some asiago cheese. I loved it, though as usual I had to pick out the mushrooms in order to taste them. That's the frustration with chantarelles. You can bring out the best in them with risoto or polenta, but it really does seen to have to be just the mushrooms and a starch. The best chantarelles I've ever had are at L'Impero. They make a mushroom fricasse that makes me just want to weep it's so delicious. But again, paired with just some creamy polenta. Hmm, something to think about. How else to exploit the chantarelle...

Today is my son Jasper's 18-month birthday. He's a year and a half! We had an exciting day and as usual he was a great sport and enjoyed it all with us. Happy birthday, Jasper!

We rode our bikes into Williamsburg and met our friend, Monroe, to see the giglio and feast at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. A giglio is a 50-foot metal steeple decorated with paper mache lilies and images of the Virgin and Son and of the patron saint of Nola, San Paolino. The Parrish was founded in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, by the Nolani. I believe today is the first day of the feast, which culminates next Sunday with another procession of the giglio.

Some 112 men hoist the giglio, carrying a brass band, singer, MC, and priest as well. They sway and jump to make the giglio "dance." The men wear kerchiefs or hats decorated with white, red, and green carnations, and they grin and grimace through the strain of lifting the steeple. They dedicated the day to an 11-year-old parishioner named Joey Jr. who died this year. As the band played "Rainbow Connection" I couldn't help being a sap and crying a little, holding up my own son. Jasper was transfixed by the whole thing. After the giglio passed us we walked a few blocks over to get our bikes and saw the other part of the procession, a boat with a Turkish Sultan and his pages in iridescent robes. To find out what a Turkish sultan has to do with the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel click on the link above.

We retired to Monroe's cool, art-filled loft for an hour or so before riding home for dinner on our rooftop deck, where we watched the sun set over another beautiful Sunday in Brooklyn.

3 comments:

rachel said...

Adriana,

Your son is absolutely beautiful! Can't believe I've never seen him before--it's been too long since I was in NYC! Love the blog & hi to Lane,
R

riptide said...

A,

I too made fresh pasta for 6 dinner guests. i mixed salmon and peas with a cream sauce. it came out gloopy. i failed to be mindful that fresh pasta absorbs so much liquid. my italian dinner guest suggested saving some of the pasta water to add back in at the end as needed.

Tania said...

Adriana,

I can't believe how big and adorable Jasper is!

I love the blog, and will probably try out some of the meals (after our kitchen is finished, for now we're hitting every take out place in a 10 mile radius.)

Reading made me miss Park Slope!

I'm definitely going to head to Sullivan St next time I'm in the city.