It feels awkward to feature a recipe made with unusual ingredients now, during the coronavirus shutdown. After all, who wants to go to the store for a missing item? But surprisingly, this dish was an outgrowth of these strange and difficult times.
It started when I bought a small jar of caviar for some smoked salmon deviled eggs I made for my Sunday blogging group. You see, right now, my leftovers are NOT going to waste.
Surprisingly the caviar had been easy to find—sitting right by the anchovies in the small-town grocery. The petite jar was around $7 and, although tiny, it went on to garnish a whole variety of dishes.
The pasta, however, was the real inspiration for the dish. It came from one of my CSA farmers who had been making it for extra income during the lighter days of winter. Followed by the not-so-light days of spring.
If you haven’t heard, farmers are hurting terribly in these times. For those whose crops go through the normal production chains, there is a mismatch between plants geared to fill bulk packaging (destined for shuttered employee cafeterias and the like) versus the now-increased retail demand. In Wisconsin, reports of farmers needing to dump milk are routine.
But even farmers outside the conventional system are feeling strain–due to the closure of farm-to-table restaurants and farmer’s markets. Outside sales like these had become important to both of my CSAs, especially in the winter and spring. So I try to buy their off-season products when I can, while waiting for the season to begin.
With the love and care I know went into the pasta, I knew I wanted to do something unique!
The pasta dish is delightful and very easy to make. Easy is a big benefit in my mind, especially when focus and energy levels seem to fall victim as well.
Pasta with Vodka Caviar Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots can sub other onions in tough times
- 2 T vodka
- ¼ cup cream
- 4 ounces angel hair pasta
- 1 ounce black caviar
- Salt and pepper
- Chopped parsley or chives for garnish optional
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the shallots and garlic. Cook gently for about four to five minutes. Add the vodka and the cream and cook until reduced by half, about five to eight minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring salted water to a boil, add pasta and cook until al dente. Once the pasta is ready, drain it and add it to the sauce mixture. Toss gently, taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste
- Divide pasta between two plates. Top with a spoonful of caviar and sprinkle with chopped parsley or chives.
- Peanut Garlic Tabbouleh
- Homemade Dijon Mustard