By now, you know that I start with a weather report saying how beautiful and sunny it is. Not today. Today was heavy fog all day long, which in our experience, is much more the norm this time of year.
Alan set off on a mission to find ingredients for tonight’s cooking and wound up on a whirlwind tour of five of the sestieres looking for yellow and green pasta for paglia e fieno (hay and straw). Here is his story: I left early, about 9:45, and headed for the Rialto. After picking up some stray tourists and pointing them in an interesting direction, I made good time getting to the Rialto. I found our butcher, finally, and bought the sausage for the meatballs. Then I went to the spice store, which was open, and bought saffron. Then I crossed the Rialto Bridge and went to the pasticciaria, which was open, but didn’t have the hay and straw pasta, so after picking up a gift for someone, headed out into Castello. I easily found the Acqua Alta Bookstore, which was like going to heaven. Piles and piles of books of all kinds.
Then things went downhill. I found the proper route out of Castello, but when I got into northeast San Marco, I got lost. I was going around in circles looking for Salizzada dei Greci and was a canal away from where I thought I’d be. Finally arrived at the other fresh pasta place and they also didn’t have the pasta, even as dried pasta. I was running a little late so I headed straight home from there, picking up leeks at the barge and arrived home in time to meet BJ, Christy and Paul to go to lunch at Estro.
At Estro we met Karen and Michael, who live here all the time. We had some nice wines and BJ had bruschetta with lardo, smoked scamorza, and spinach and I had tripe. I will spare you the pictures, but both were excellent. Then, on the way back home, we stopped and brought some fresh pasta, but not the straw and hay (spinach and yellow pasta) that I was looking for.
We got back just in time for construction in our kitchen. When a service guy came to look at the water heater which was turning off and needed to be reset every few days, it was discovered that the kitchen needed to be vented to meet code. So they had to drill two 4 inch diameter holes in the 18 inch thick wall, requiring big, noisy drills for an hour or so. That is done now and we are just writing the blog before Alan cooks.
Here is what Alan made tonight. Fresh bigoli from the bigoli shop that he topped with a sauce of leeks, sausage and saffron. The recipe was on La Cucina Italiano and the ingredients were picked up in his wanderings this morning.
Very simple very flavorful fare. Very good with a salad. Tomorrow we may go to the Biennale.