Saturday, January 14, 2006

Green Mountains, Red Pasta

It was Vermont in January, and it was 55 degrees and raining. Good thing we were there to play music and not to ski.

The band and our entourage, including Margy, spent the morning (okay, the afternoon) eating my sister's incredible homemade muffins -- banana nut, with and without chocolate chips, and blueberry. The rain stopped for a while and we took a nice walk, admiring a gorgeous VT landscape made even more beautiful by thick clouds of low-riding mist.

Before the gig, with faithful sous chef Margy chopping calmly by my side, I made a big bowl of penne all'amatriciana, which for those who are unfamiliar means a tomato sauce with bacon or pancetta, onion, and chili pepper. I used good old Oscar Meyer bacon (my dirty little secret is that I usually buy low-sodium bacon, but this time I went with reg'lar), and fresh jalapeños instead of the customary dried red pepper flakes. It came out pretty well and had a good kick to it -- though a bit more salt might not have hurt. A big salad of mixed lettuces, spinach, carrot, celery, cucumber, apple, and walnuts with a honey-mustard vinaigrette made a great accompaniment.

I cooked two pounds of penne for seven people, and we had some left over. You'll be seeing it again...

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