Perhaps you’ve spent all summer avoiding bread and pasta? OK, fair enough – but the first breezes of autumn surely signal a well-earned return to our favorite, and comfortingly heartier, Western European cuisines?
For italophiles, NoMad’s La Pecora Bianca has been a favored destination since its high-profile opening in 2015. Now they’ve expanded the empire to a new location on East 50th, with a chic white interior, complemented by herringbone flooring and stylishly adorned shelving – which all feels a bit like Capri.
But, oh the food. From the butternut squash arancini to the market vegetable crudo to the 28-day dry-aged bistecca to the classic pasta dishes like strozzapretti cacio e pepe and porcini papardelle, this is the sort of menu we’d gladly hop a flight to Roma for. (And seriously, how could one possibly resist the cauliflower carbonara?)
To fete the opening, we asked chef Cruz Goler (a vet of Mario Batali’s exalted Lupa and Del Posto) to exclusively share one of his fave – and very seasonally appropriate – recipes. Buona mangiata!
Chef Cruz Goler
21 oz tagliatelle, fresh or dried
1 tbsp finely chopped onion
1 tbsp finely chopped carrot
1 tbsp finely chopped celery
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup ground beef
1/2 cup ground veal
1/2 cup ground pork
1/2 cup red wine
4 chicken livers, chopped
Pinch of juniper berry
Pinch of clove
Pinch of rosemary
1 qt canned tomato sauce
2 tbsp heavy cream
1. In a large sauce pot over low heat, sweat the onion, carrot and celery in olive oil for 10 minutes, until completely tender. Remove from the pan and set aside in a small bowl.
2. In the same sauce pot over high heat, add the ground beef, veal and pork and gently sear and caramelize, 10 minutes.
3. Add the onion, carrot and celery back to the pot. Deglaze with red wine.
4. Add chicken livers, a sachet with juniper berry, clove and rosemary, cover with canned tomato sauce and simmer until very tender, about two hours. Finish with two tablespoons of heavy cream.
5. Cook the pasta in simmering water salted like the ocean for 3-6 minutes for fresh, 8-12 minutes for dry, until just before the desired toothsome bite is achieved. Drain, reserving some of the pasta water, and place in the pot with the sauce, adjusting the consistency by adding pasta water to the pot as needed. Serve.