Posted by: tomciocco | May 29, 2008

Dinner, Thursday 29 May, 2008

I’ve got some things to handle today, and some leftovers that are burning a hole in my Gladware, so nothing elaborate will be seen here today, but hello to all – to those who know my tappings (still viewable at from my time at Wine Library, and those who don’t…

So as I’ve alluded to, tonight’s dinner will be a “leftoverture” (no Kansas reference intended) of sorts…Some weeks ago, I made a gargantuan batch of chestnut gnocchi which I froze in several bags. The last bag needs eatin’, and I’m a bit busy today, so this looks like time to whip these out. I’m going to dress them with a simple tomato/rosemary sauce (also re-purposed). Though not strictly a traditional sauce for these little brown knots (herb/butter/nut/cheese condiments are the norm in Luguria, this pasta’s home region) it’s what I’ve got, and I thought it would make a reasonable match…I’ll let you know…

One funny thing about these gnocchi…they do contain an egg (a sure gnocchi dough toughener by the way) and I may have slightly overworked the dough while kneading it, so they do have a bit of an extra chew to them, but I discovered from an earlier round of leftovers that when nuked to re-heat, they became somewhat miraculously and fairly dramatically tenderized (I would have expected just the opposite effect actually). So this round, I’m going to boil them as usual a bit ahead of time, let them cool, and re-heat them in the magicfastheatupfood box to see if I can replicate the effect…I’ll let you know…Is there a food scientist in the house?

The main course is going to be a marinated (white wine, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, sage, paprika, with several ingredients to be named later) and grilled pair of pork tenderloins with a side of (frozen) peas (a.k.a. the gastronome’s perpetual veggie fallback  – thank you Mr. Birdseye)

Still debating about wine…Those of you who know me know that I am a fair stickler on pairing the foods of a country with wines from that same country. And since we’re in Italy with this meal (and Italian food and wine being my greatest passion) I’ve narrowed the choice (from what I’ve got in the basement –  were I able to pick THE perfect wine, I’d go for a Barbera/Rossese blend from Liguria with just a kiss of (old) Slavonian oak, but this wine may not actaully even exist, so back to reality) to a 2006 Chianti normale from San Fabiano Borghini Baldovinetti or a 2004 Giacomo Conterno Barbera d’Alba…Very different wines, I know – the former being fresher and more direct, and the latter deeper, more muscular and a bit brooding, but both with great albeit different types of acidty…the Chianti will pick up beautifully on the tomato sauce, but the Barbera might dance a bit better with the earthy, almost “chocolately” flavor of the pasta. Similarly, the Chianti will be great with the ingredients in the second course, but I’m worried about how it might stand up to the flavors imparted by the grilling. This Barbera might otherwise overwhelm “the other white meat”, but may turn out to be just what the doctor orders to beat back the char…In any event, I’ll let you know how it goes…

Welcome to everyone once again!






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