It's soupy out. My feet are wet. It's gloomy, gross and crappy. Great winter on the whole but this stuff is straining my aversion to buying boots. Just not a boot person. When the prospect of making a meal that doesn't involve leaving the house in such weather seems doable, you make that. So I made that, and it turned into a great rendition of house favorite.
Fridge garbage dinner!
Food: Spaghetti al Limone & Kumato-Avocado-Quick Pickle Salad
Spaghetti al limone, a recipe that has one of the largest ratios of a high deliciousness factor to ease of prep on the planet. When organized, it's about 20 minutes of total cook time. All bright lemon and lemon with a side of lemon twisting and turning, jumping everywhere in the bowl. Just enough parmigiano-reggiano, copious amount of parsley is key, touch of Tellicherry pepper helps. Make it. It's the best, Jerry! The best!
But the headliner of this meal was the fridge garbage salad. "Gotta use it up!" arugula as a base. Kumato slices next, salt and peppered, quick-pickle of onions and radishes using Michael Symon's master pickling recipe (house go-to always and forever) and let sit for a few hours to do its pickle, avocados peppered, parsley and fresh oregano dumped on top. Vinaigrette that turned into a "let's see what else I can put in here without turning it into a travesty." Sherry vinegar, shallots, dijon, tons of tarragon, lemongrass, white anchovies, ginger, salt, pepper, olive oil. Chopped stuff left roughly chopped to make it chunky good.
Mrs. Ney made a very similar version of this meal last July (and probably our favorite home pairing of last year). Stupid-great then, same this time. In July, with the Casanova della Spinetta Vermentino, I waxed rhapsodically over the ridiculous cheapness of such a great meal. $32 then, $23 this time with the food and a bargain Portuguese alvarinho.
Wine: 2011 Vera Alvarinho Vinho Verde ($14 - Binny's)
From Vinho Verde, but this one is from the sub-region of Monção and Melgaço, a place where 100% alvarinho bottlings dominate instead of the simple, slightly spritzy, limey green apple (boring) sippers that Vinho Verde is known for. Albariño just across the border in Rías Baixas, in Portugal, alvarinho shows a similar personality to albariño yet utterly puts its Portuguese stamp on it. Last had with cacio e pepe (we got a thing for simple Italian pasta and west coast Iberian whites), this time we found a melon and lime wrapped in sunbaked earth and seawater foam expression. Pretty, bright acid, lovely body and just all-around happy stuff in the bottle. Marked down a couple of months ago at Binny's, it's back up to its original price of $18 and it's still worth every cent.
Pairing: Bright and jolly food and wine that made us smile...and $23 for everything
A bite of the salad, getting everything, a little kumato, avocado, parsley, maybe a bigger fork with some lemongrass and anchovy chunks, made for such pretty depth in the wine, jacking up the seawater and sunny earth core, showing fantastic balance. With the pasta, the pairing hit Mrs. Ney as spectacular, finding a great planty quality to the wine with the pasta. I was skeptical for half of the meal but came around when a bite and sip turned the wine into something quite herbal, planty and tropical.
House favorite. Painfully easy. Always great. Good batch here.
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