In preparation for the cold nights ahead, we braved the weather today and were able to find a brief window of calm to cover the celery to protect it from the frost. We allowed it to get frosted previously when it was still growing, knowing that we would eventually trim the damaged outside stalks. However now that it is mature and beautiful we do not want it to burst. Many of the brassicas in the flooded areas of the field have died: unfortunately some of the broccoli, kale, and more. We had high hopes for the overwintered cauliflower but I do not think it will make it through the current stress.
We are working to revamp our germination chamber, hoping to insulate it better and build new doors. We are starting to check off items on our winter office list, as well as finishing the clean up of most spaces. We started weeding the garlic last week, as well as cutting back the perennial and herb gardens. We hope to finish them this week if it is not too saturated!
This week’s pick list:
Sugarloaf, Castelfranco, Escarole, and Radicchio
Revolution Bread is available
Pasta with Radicchio, Bacon, and Pecans, from nytimes.com
4 ounces smoked bacon, cut into 1/4-inch lardons (about 4 strips)
1 pound radicchio
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 pound rigatoni or other short, tubular dried pasta
1 teaspoon roughly chopped rosemary
Pinch of red-pepper flakes
8 ounces ricotta (about 1 cup)
4 ounces toasted pecans (about 1 scant cup)
4 ounces grated pecorino (about 1 cup)
Heat the broiler. Put a large pot of water on the stove, bring to a boil, then turn to a simmer so it is ready for cooking pasta.
As water boils, put 2 cups water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Add bacon lardons, and blanch for 1 minute, then drain and set aside.
Cut radicchio into 1-inch wide ribbons and spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (If using Tardivo, just cut off bottom of bunch to free the slender leaves.) Drizzle 3 tablespoons olive oil evenly over radicchio and season generously with salt and pepper.
Broil radicchio close to the heat source so it chars. Cook for about 5 minutes, until warmed through, but not wilted. Remove and let cool slightly, then chop crosswise into rough 1-inch pieces.
Salt the pasta water and bring to a hard boil. Add rigatoni and cook until al dente, usually 11 to 15 minutes, depending upon the brand.
While pasta is cooking, put 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp and lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Turn off heat and add rosemary and red pepper.
Drain pasta (reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water) and add to skillet. Add reserved radicchio and ricotta and toss to incorporate.
Transfer pasta to a warmed deep serving platter or individual bowls. Sprinkle pecans over surface and top with a dusting of pecorino. Serve immediately and pass remaining cheese at table.