Archives for posts with tag: pasta

Lunch today: gnocchi with braised nettles and pork, spaghetti with anchovies and tomato and breadcrumbs, and garganelli with olives and mushrooms. And paté. And my sweet parent-friend-who-I’ve-made-my-friend (and perhaps most devoted AC follower) JJ. We met for lunch at the tiny pasta mecca I’ve been reading about, Il Corvo, a fresh pasta project housed in a gelato shop. Procopio Gelateria by sunny day, Il Corvo by rainy afternoon. Home of just three fresh pasta dishes a day, made by hand each morning, devoured by dedicated masses by 2 or 3. (Il Corvo = The Crow, as Joan- “I speak enough Italian to ask the waitress for a table far away from the loud smoking Germans” -Jones, told me wisely … though I guess a person clever-er than I could’ve figured it out from giant crow on the sign.)

We debated what to order at the counter, and were pretty much instantly convinced by the three-man restaurant team to go ahead, why not!, order all three! Plus a little paté, just in cases. First, the paté. Perhaps the best paté ever. Also, I was starving and I have been making a good faith effort to eat healthy junk all week. Aka, kale and barley instead of grilled cheese dunked in Sriracha and a couple of dark chocolate peanut butter cups on the side. So white bread and pig, yes please. (Also, I went to a pig…erm…slaughter demo this weekend, and I’ve been weirdly…erm…craving pork. More on that soon.)

Shortly after the pate, three plates slid across the counter and a nod came our way. It’s your turn for pasta bliss, the pasta man with the awesomely rockabilly hair said with his look. Here is some logic for ya: pasta is good, fresh pasta is better, cold days makes you want pasta. All this came together right here for us real, real nicely. The spaghetti: clearly so reliant on olive oil, but somehow light too. Just fishy enough, brightened with just enough parsley. Given texture with breadcrumbs. Cooked just enough, so the pasta held that stiff fresh pasta bite-back.

The garganelli: (Do you know what that is? We did not. It is squares of pasta with ridges on one side rolled into tubes. The ridges hold the sauce, the tubes hold more sauce. Behold, the genius of Italian-ism) with slices of the most gigantic black olives I’ve ever seen or even imagined, with thinly sliced mushrooms (just enough mushroms to give it that good mushroom taste, which I love, but not enough that you could feel the mushroom texture, which I hate) in a slightly tangy tomato sauce. Just enough sauce too, that every pasta piece was perfect, and there was only tablespoons of precious flavor left at the end for bread-sopping.

Then, friends, the gnocchi. Tiny, tender, sweet. The babies of the pasta community, cuddly and lovable. With once-stinging nettles braised into yummy submission and salty pork shredded to goodness, little bits of crispy roastedness remaining. We loved it all. Beauty. And always so lovely to be with someone from home when you’re away from home. A sweet piece of Idaho (albeit a Canadian piece) here in rainland.

And, you know, pasta. The whole meal was perfect in its just-enough-ness, I’m realizing. Three pastas for two people would be crazy talk at pretty much any other Italian restaurant. Here, no. Go ahead and order the whole menu. You will leave warm and happily full, not stuffed with starch, just cozied with carbs. And the food itself, the just-enough-ness. Just enough perfectly trimmed little leaves of parsley. Just enough sauce, just enough pasta. Just so. And the place itself, just hidden enough that it feels special and secret. Yes. I love Il Corvo. And it is just a mere five minutes from my office. The healthy kick is over.

Fourth of July = Massive Overeat. How could one possibly resist literally falling off the bone ribs, cedar plank chicken, watermelon laden fruit salad, sausage spotted pasta salad, baconey potato salad, sweet sun-yellow corn, and a smattering of summer berry pies? And why would anyone resist really? Somehow got lucky enough to not work on the fourth, so drove on home then down to family friend Dave’s house on the Clearwater. Good to be home, even better to be home and stuffing my fat little face. Dave is an excellent cook, and in particular the master of the cedar plank. First cedar plank experience was roasted goat for New Years. Real good. And it’s only gotten better. Indubitably the best ribs I’ve ever had. Some secret barbeque sauce + plank + low n’ slow heat = oh heaven and a messy face. (and the olives. Have I already rambled about THE olives? I’m a big olive-eater. I like ’em all, from wrinkly kalamatas to the giant juicy green ones to the sliced black canned variety, but Dave’s homemade olives are something else. Not salty. Nope. Vinegary like crazy. And SO good. Camie and I are obsessed, thankfully no one else is quite as infatuated and we can just huddle over the jar like selfish little creatures. Dave let me take the last jar, it was like Christmas.)

(There’s Tucker, who can’t resist licking the meaty, barbequey plank, even though he’s burning the crap out of this little tongue.)

Everything else in the potluck sorta deal was tasty in its Americana glory as well, but I was sort of very distracted by my plate of ribs. (And second plate, which once empty I quickly hid then denied its existence.) Then, friends, a coconut cake. Which I never would have imagined I would like/love, but it was just gloriously light and sweet and scrumptious. Jess and little far-too-clever-to-be-only-seven Hayden made the praised cake, decorated with American flag fruit, as you do. And then a strawberry pie as well, just in case we weren’t quite stuffed enough. Which went a little like this: buttery pie crust, cream cheesy stuff, sugary strawberries. Mhhm, yep, ok then. 5,000 calories and much joy later, we decided the best thing to do was probably jump into the negative 200 degree river and float around for a bit. And after that we felt we’d earned s’mores, and thus commenced the sitting around the fire, frantically blowing out ignited marshmallows, getting sticky hands and sticky, smiley faces, listening to Dad (also known as PopPop) and Lex playing Steve Earle songs, and feeling very content and I guess pretty American.

Ribity ribs. Very seriously falling off the bone. I feel sad now writing about it because there is no rib meat in my mouth or hands or anywhere near me.

Chicken, baked beans, potato sal, pasta sal, fruit sal, RIBS. Not pictured, the sweetest corn ever. Which became corn and black bean and a bunch of other stuff salad the next day.

Piglet! Happy little piglet.

And though I thought I would never have to eat again, the next morning I managed to wolf down about fifteen pumpkin pancakes. Which I had never encountered before, but have adopted as my new favorite thing in the whole wide world of breakfast.

Is this not the rockin-est spot on the whole earth? I don’t know why exactly, but a good Fourth of July requires close proximity to a body of water. Strangely one of my most fun Fourths was in Bermuda, eating Portuguese doughnuts at an old British port. Not so American, good nonetheless.

Dad and I, post schnib-stealing. (Schnib = tasty little meat morsels scavenged before dinner. Extra rib bits, burnt little pieces of chicken. Mmm.)