Alpine Spaghetti; Speck – 5 January 2012
I had decided to make the speck recipe we have at l’Osteria del Forno in SF, but I was in a quandary about what to serve along with it. Finally decided a very simple pasta would be ok. Still didn’t manage anything in the way of veggies, but I did bring a cage of satsuma mandarins to the table and we had those for dessert.
Alpine Spaghetti is from our 1976 first edition of Simple Foods for the Pack, by Kinmont and Axcell (now in its 3rd edition)- a super book for backpackers who would like to eat real, and really tasty, food on the trail without a lot of hassle. We’ve had this for ages. For this recipe, you cook spaghetti, toss it with a bit of olive oil, and then add (if backpacking, from one baggie) parmesan, dried basil and parsley (I used fresh parsley b/c don’t have dried), and minced garlic. I should have held onto a bit of pasta cooking water, which would have been a good addition, but with a bit of S&P it was a tasty dish.
I tore up one piece of Speck for each of us, and plated it with wild baby arugula, shaved Grana Padano (usually parmesan), cannellini beans, and oil, salt, and pepper. The cannellini were cooked close to Bertolli’s recipe in Chez Panisse Cooking: 1 cup of beans, soaked (I use the boil 1-2 minutes, soak 1 hour method) and 3 1/2 cups water, 3/4 tsp salt, and herbs. Bertolli’s recipe, for a particular meal, calls for rosemary, but this time I used a bunch of thyme and one stick of rather sad and fading sage. Cook, covered, till done. It was more than an hour, and perhaps closer to 1 1/2 hours.
I suggested Ventoux, and D brought one up. It was great, as always. Love this wine.
Mandarins in a cage: