I've been getting to work really early lately. Part of it is being super-busy, which I love, but part of it is that I love being in the office when it is so quiet. This morning I can hear the rain pounding on the roof.
We're on a downhill slide into fall here in Anchorage. I've been meaning to take pictures of the transformation, which include a flock of Canadian geese gathering on the mud flats near my house and the blooming of the fireweed. Alaska legend is you can tell how long it will be until winter by when the fireweed finishing blooming and then goes to cotton.
For the first time in a couple of weeks, I was home to make dinner last night. On Golden Pond is fully blocked and going well, but the nights we aren't in rehearsal I'm usually staying late at work or running the errands that I haven't had time to do.
Last night I was determined to make something delicious, simple and packable to take to work for lunch. I am fascinated by the Italian concept of cucina povera--literally, poverty kitchen--not because of the financial aspect of it (we are fortunate in that regard), but because it means you make a delicious dish from basically nothing.
This dish is so simple that I kept wanting to do something more with it, like adding anchovies, chicken sausage or olives. In the end, I left it proudly unadorned, the way it was meant to be. It originated in Puglia, the single food region I most want to visit in Italy and haven't had the opportunity to--yet.
Rigatoni with Bread Crumbs and Parmesan
The crumbs will be ready when they are lightly golden and crispy--make sure not to scorch the garlic.
Serve with another grating of Parmesan. Makes six appetizer pasta servings or four generous main course servings. I served this with a side of fried zucchini and a bottle of dry, minerally Gruner Veltliner.