Saturday, February 25, 2006

Dinner, 24 February

Here too, we began the dinner, after the usual guacamole, with the pasta alle verdure al forno - parallel lives. Used a glass pan, in which I put in two large fennels, four small aubergines, one red pepper, five or six cherry tomatoes, three or four small courgettes, a couple of garlic cloves cut in half, all finely chopped except for the garlic; olive oil, salt and rosemary, no black pepper but some Espelette. It stayed in the oven for about as long as yours, I mixed it occasionally. At the end, as I mixed the vegetables and the fusilli, I added, thinking of your trick, a little bit of crumbed feta. Then, we had the red snapper fillets described below, served on a bed of rucola (another coincidence with your dinner in Paris - parallel lives again). The pure red and white thing on the plate would have been perhaps better, I was too eager for green stuff, one might say. Still, it met with success. Wine-wise, we remained in the south of France: we drank first the Pic St Loup (Lauret) Chateau de Cazeneuve 1997 "Le Roc des Mates" (producer: André Leenhardt), followed by a lovely Cotes du Rhone Villages brought by our friends Claude and Winsome, who drink it as their vin de la maison - a non-filtered thing called Mas de Boislauzon, from the Orange area (producers: Monique et Daniel Chaussy). Both spicy, the first probably rounder; both functioned perfectly in accompaniment to the spicy, multi-coloured food. Four bottles in all, for seven of us. But feeling fine. Conversation turned quite political by the end so no one realized that Marcello had prepared a cup of vanilla ice-cream with melted chocolate for everyone. Sweet relief.


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