18 Aug Squid-Ink Spaghetti with Baccala
Weekend Special: August 19-21, 2016
InspirationIn mid-sixteenth-century Sweden, during a period of harsh austerity in Europe, that, among its other deleterious effects, was subtracting from the convivial dinner tables of the clergy, a particularly ingenious priest by the name of Olao Mago began advocating for a fish called “merlusia” (cod, essentially), because the chilly zephyrs of his neighboring mountains would so readily dry it out, which would in turn preserve it and make it rocklike (easy to ship). Soon his word was heard around Europe, and soon salt cod as an Old World delicacy–a plaything of eminent chefs–was born. To this very day, in fact, the artful technique of cod preservation is preserved, even in warmer climates, via salt, which makes the fish that much more succulent.
And we here at Merlo, though passionate producers of the finest foods, also consider ourselves to be the chary navigators of vicissitudes in the market, which is why this weekend we’ll be celebrating Olao’s fiscal sagacity with Spaghetti neri e Baccala.
Homemade spaghetti (composed of durum flour, eggs, and squid ink) is tossed with a ragout of cubed baccala (salt cod) loin (which is seared with clarified butter and white wine), sautéed vegetables, and fresh porcini (which are tinctured with with cloves, nutmeg, lemon zest, and pine nuts).