Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Movie Night and Pasta Provençale
On Monday my husband and I saw the Ridley Scott film "A Good Year," starring Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard, with an appearance by Albert Finney. What a lovely, charming, feel-good film. It's about how a ruthless London stock trader (Crowe) finds his soul again when he has to return to his childhood home on a vineyard in Provence and reconnect with old friends and great memories. [N.B. - It was filmed in the villages of Bonnieux, Gordes, and Ménerbes (of A Year in Provence fame) in France, near the medieval-but-still-working Abbaye de Senanque, which is surrounded by lavender fields in bloom July and August...MUST VISIT!)]
It's not specifically a "food" movie but I couldn't help but want some Provence-inspired food after seeing footage of the golden sunlight of Southern France over the vineyards and villages, and scenes in which good meals were enjoyed in good company. After harvesting some grape tomatoes and basil from our lback yard yesterday, with the sun warm on my back and the crickets' song vibrating loudly through the air all around me, I came up with this pasta dish, which, though not perfect, satisfied my
craving well enough:
3 1/2 - 4 cups orecchiette cooked al dente (a 1-lb box makes about 6 cups), tossed with a mixture of
-breadcrumbs (about 2 Tb, sautéed in olive oil till golden),
-chopped anchovies and capers (about half the contents of a tin of fillets rolled with capers),
-garlic (1 large clove, minced and sautéed with above),
-cured black olives (about a dozen, pitted and halved),
-broiled small plum tomatoes (again, about a dozen, halved),
-golden raisins (about 1/2 c),
-toasted pine nuts (about 1/4 c), and
-shredded fresh basil.
I did use a tablespoon or two of dry white wine to deglaze the pan after sauté-ing the breadcrumbs, garlic, anchovies, and capers. The cured olives were a tad salty, so maybe I'll use plain canned black ones next time, and I regret not picking more basil leaves and tomatoes to use, but overall it was just the kind of dish I wanted to eat after seeing this movie. Not perfect, or not yet perfected, but workable. Maybe I'll add some shaved fennel next time, and some kind of soft white cheese, and an herb or two...