October Food Notes

October 2022 – Sardegna


Wednesday, Nov. 2 is All Souls Day, ‘Tutti i Santi’ in Italy. It is the celebration of all those who have entered heaven. It is a holiday that brings families together to reflect on those they have loved and lost. Quite a different expression from our Halloween traditions and, in true Italian style, there is a rich tradition of the food you eat alongside the holiday. We have chosen some very traditional dishes eaten on this holiday (pumpkin risotto with black truffle butter, Minestri dei Morti) in addition to some of our own to the mix (Fusilli Nero w/Pesto de Pane). 

I have never celebrated this holiday but I love the idea of taking the opportunity for reflection together as a family. The closest I have ever come to any revelatory or spiritual experience during Halloween was when I decided to dress as Diana Ross when I was thirteen and raided my mom’s old closet. I never before knew what a liberating feeling a pair of fishnet stockings and a silk blouse could be. I felt closer to the disco queen that night.  And maybe that’s what the Italians intended!

what we have prepared for you for this month:

Fusilli Nero with Pesto de Pane and sweet peppers

We wanted to make a dish that captured the tone and feeling of the holiday. We used activated charcoal to color the fusilli and I love the earthiness, color and texture of the pasta. It’s a also like doing a mini cleanse with every bite of pasta 🙂

The pesto is made from basil, parsley, some wild herbs, olive oil and breadcrumbs (where the nuts would often live) The result is a luscious and creamy pesto that really wants to cling to the noodles.  Pasta is best 1 week, refrigerated. Contains gluten. Pesto is best within a few days, refrigerated. Contains nightshade, allium, capsicum, gluten.

Pumpkin Risotto with Truffle Butter and Pecorino

This is a very tradish dish to be eaten during All Souls day. It’s perfect for the season and our mini cold snap this week. We have cooked the risotto in a pumpkin and vegetable stock and are leaving you to mix in the pumpkin cream, black truffle butter and grated grana padano to finish the decadent dish. Risotto keeps 1 week, refrigerated. Contains gluten.  Pupkin puree is best 1 week, refrigerated. Contains dairy.  Truffle butter is best 3-4 days, refrigerated.  Contains dairy.

Ossi di Morti (Bones of the Dead) 

Admittedly not the most appetizing name for a cookie, but these are one of the most unique and satisfying confections we’ve made in some time. They are made with our homemade nocino (green pecan liqueur), dried figs, nuts and rich baking spices, they have a unique crackle and chew and I’ve been stress snacking on them all week. Cookies are best 3-4 days, unrefrigerated. Contain gluten & nuts.

Minestra dei Morti (Soup of the Dead… I know, it’s a theme)

This is a total honest to goodness make you feel better and like somebody loves you kind of soup. Rich pork stock (or veg stock), chickpeas, braised kale and lots of veggies, this is exactly what I want to eat at least once a week. Soup is best 1 week, refrigerated. Contains nightshade & pork (except veg broth).


Cooking instructions

Here are some recipes for this meal. I would like to note though that these ingredients are absolutely for you to experiment with. Feel free to add on to them, or even just use the ingredients one by one in your own cooking!

Fusilli Nero with Pesto de Pane & sweet peppers

Plan for 4 minutes preparation

Bring 4+ qts of water to a boil in a deep pot. Salt the water with three big pinches of kosher salt. 

Drop pasta in the water for 1 minute.  This pasta cooks especially quickly. Be mindful not to overcook.

Meanwhile, put a medium saute pan on medium high heat and add the pesto and an ounce or so of pasta water.  Bring to a simmer.  Add the cooked pasta.  Toss until the sauce is reduced and clinging to the pasta, about two minutes. Add pasta water as needed to adjust for consistency.

Divide into plates or bowls. Garnis with half of the grana padano.

Pumpkin Risotto with black truffle butter and pecorino

Plan for 7 minutes active preparation

In a medium sauce pot, bring 2oz of water, white wine or veg. stock to a simmer and then add the risotto to the pot.

Add the pumpkin to the puree and stir until well combined and very creamy.

Add the truffle butter and half of the grana padano and keep stirring until glossy.

Divide into bowls. Top with remaining grana padano and enjoy.