Tuesday, July 22, 2008

dinner for two

Almost every other Thursday Dan and three of his friends have Lucali Club. It is a not-so-secret society where they sit around and eat slices and calzones at Lucali, a fantastic brick oven pizza place in Carroll Gardens. I also call it Getting Fat Club.

The best part of Lucali Club is that it leaves me a free night with Mindi, one of my favorite people in the world, and wife (eek, we can both say wife now) of a Lucali clubber. Sometimes we eat out, sometimes I cook for the two of us, and sometimes I get really lucky and she cooks for me, like last week. I love watching her chop, and stir, and saute in her little kitchen. The same space where we canned 40-something jars of marmalade and pumpkin butter last Christmas in a very Lucille-and-Ethel fashion. Things got very sloppy, is all I'll say.

On normal nights, we try to keep it simple. Although we're usually eating something good, it's more about catching up than food. We talk about work and bemoan living in New York and how dirty and expensive and unnecessarily difficult everything is. And how when we move to Portland, everything will be great. Or sometimes we go sit outside on the stoop when it's nice out, and the fireflies are darting about, and Brooklyn's hard angles are softened by the dusk. A few glasses of wine in us, we talk about how lovely New York can be and how great it is to live here now, when we can still appreciate it without really being able to afford it. And how someday we'll look back and miss this time in our lives, shared in this city.

And then Lucali Club strolls up, interrupting our precious girl time with their raunchy jokes and name-calling, full of way too many beers. But we love them for it anyway (kind of).

Dinner for two at Mindi's:
Assorted olives (Pitted, which were fantastic. Why don't I buy pitted olives?)
Linguine with crème fraîche, arugula, and lemon
Green beans with butter and shallots
Dark chocolate

Linguine with crème fraîche, arugula, and lemon
Adapted from Amanda Hesser's fun book Cooking For Mr. Latte, this pasta calls for Meyer lemons, but Min and I agree regular old lemons are better because they give you more citrus flavor—not to mention they're also cheaper and in season all year round.

(Serves 2-4)
1 pound of linguine (fresh pasta is best for this)
2 lemons
3 large handfuls of uncooked arugula, cleaned and roughly chopped
1/2 cup crème fraîche (or strained plain Greek yogurt)
1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus a little extra
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Boil water and add the pasta. While it cooks, zest the lemons. When the pasta is cooked, reserve one cup of the cooking water and set it aside. Drain the pasta and place it in a large bowl. To the pasta, add the juice of one lemon, lemon zest, reserved pasta water, parmesan, and crème fraîche. Stir the pasta until it forms a creamy sauce. Add the arugula, and toss until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste, and top with extra parmesan.


Anonymous said...

Pasta sounds great. I never thought of substituting yogurt for creme fraiche which they don't sell in Publix (although there is a suburban legend that it was spotted there once) The New York story brought tears to my eyes (no kidding) .

Lisa said...

I like that you said "suburban legend" instead of "urban legend."

I'm sure Whole Foods carries creme fraiche. But the strained Greek yogurt (left overnight in the fridge) is a decent substitute.

Daniel said...

Lucali Club has brought tears to many an eye.

You should've seen the waitresses' faces when Colin wiped out while attempting the tricky feat of sitting down in his chair.

Anonymous said...

First of all the Lucali Supper Club is a Men's Club with a membership of four and a waiting list of 400. We are beating down the wannabes. Second of all we are not getting fat off of Lucali's, we are getting into our rotund fighting weight, ready to be drafted once George W. Bush, in his infinite wisdom, activates the draft. The four of us will be plump, mean, cannon fodder sent in first to alleviate some of the heat off of the more nubile fighters. All being said, your pasta looks delicious, blah, blah, blah. When am I going to get my picture up on this hot blog, you know, so I can meet the ladies? ETL

Lisa said...

E, this isn't Nerve. But I do have photos I'd be delighted to post: http://flickr.com/photos/lisacericola/2618288157/

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Maggie said...

Yum. Doing it right! Looks delicious.


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