Monday, June 26, 2006


more somewhat ot: heirloom tomatoes and italian pasta pins

forgive me, dear readers, for continuing to wander far from our usual topics, but one of the joys of the csa should be access to heirloom tomatoes soon. i love 'em this time of year in the classic insalata caprese.

so i was quite happy yesterday to wander by my local bklyn garden of eden and discover several: a glowing pile of citrus-striped green zebras; an aromatic pyramid of near-coffee-colored bruno rossi; and a gorgeous basket of so-called black brandywines, which actually are quite red inside when cut.

obviously they made for a lovely and unusual caprese salad, which i drizzled with the suffered-for aussie olive oil. one thing i discovered about all these types of tomatoes was how easy they were to peel.

after slicing off the blossom end, the skin peeled up of its own accord. i could effortlessly take it off in strips with a veggie peeler.

i offered a plate to my husband, who at first said no, he'd just had a snack. but when he saw the jewel-like salad with alternating rows of brilliantly colored tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and generous scented basil, he caved.

i highly recommend you check out heirloom tomatoes like this for yourself this summer!

in other cooking news, devoted readers may recall that i reached for marcella cucina when the csa stuck me with sunchokes.

re-reading marcella inspired with the desire to make more hand-made pasta, and i mean hand-made and hand-rolled. i have a gi-normous maple rolling pin, about 18 in. long by 4 in. thick.

it's possible to make ok pasta with this, but it's really not long enough to get it as thin as it ought to be. for this, marcella recommends that one head to the local lumber yard for a 32 in. long by 2 in thick hardwood pin.

and this i did! i wandered into dykes in mall-hattan, next to birdland, where the super-nice man cut two such oak pins to order for me and gave me some eyehooks. i'll use an eyehook in one end to hang my pin so it won't warp.

all it needs is a quick sanding, a fast wipe with light dish soap, a fair rinse, and a nice few coats of salad bowl oil. then i'm good to go!

i can't even find pins like this for sale on the 'net. so i'm very happy to report that the entire adventure cost me a mere US$25.

now the question: what to do with the second pin? anyone looking for an official made-to-marcella-specifications pasta pin?

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posted by fortune | 8:34 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 3 comments

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