As often as we can, Matt and I try to explore a new neighborhood somewhere in one of the boroughs. Most recently, that neighborhood was Morningside Heights.
Morningside Heights is on the west side of Manhattan right underneath Harlem. The biggest boast for the area is a cathedral, St. John the Divine. On our way to the cathedral we passed a farmer’s market abutting a lovely and spacious park. After exploring the cathedral a bit, we went back to the farmer’s market on our way to the park. The park had a baseball diamond, a kids’ play area, and picnic tables, but its best feature was a little pond. The pond had ducks, swans, turtles, catfish and even a crane. We bought some artisanal, organic hamburger buns from the farmer’s market (only the best for those ducks!) and proceeded to leisurely rip off little pieces for the ducks and swans swimming in the pond. The geese were all congregating in the shade with their babies.
I love ducks, and I find feeding them bread scraps to be really fun. However, I do not care for geese one bit. They are mean-spirited, self-absorbed animals. After we’d been feeding the ducks for a while, the geese caught on that there was food and walked over to claim their share. One of the adults walked right up to me, within two feet of my hands. I tentatively tossed him some bread and he seemed happy. That occasion marks the closest I’ve gotten to a goose since I was 5.
When I was 5, my grandmother and aunt took my cousin and me to a petting zoo. The geese were milling about with other birds. My cousin, also age 5, decided it would be a good idea to throw pebbles at the geese. The geese disagreed. They charged us both, and one bit my fingers in the chaos. My grandmother and aunt looked up and saw two screaming 5-year-olds running frantically toward them with several geese in hot pursuit. They eventually found the whole thing very amusing, but I personally have gone out of my way to avoid geese ever since. I survived this latest encounter to tell you about artisanal pasta.
While we were visiting the farmer’s market, we found a stand with artisanal dried pasta. We bought two kinds: chipotle cilantro linguine and black pepper fettuccine. The man who sold us the pasta advised us to use the black pepper pasta for fettuccine alfredo. So that’s exactly what we did. Creamy, salty, delicious fettuccine alfredo with a bite from all that extra black pepper. Oh, such a decadent guilty pleasure. I haven’t yet used the chipotle cilantro pasta. Any ideas on what to do with it? I’d love to hear your comments on it.
Source: 30 Minute Meals 2, by Rachael Ray
1/2 lb. fettuccine
3 tbs butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and lots of fresh cracked black pepper
Bring salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well.
Preheat a large skillet over moderate heat, add butter and melt. Add cream and, stirring constantly, add cheese and cook, 1 minute. Season with nutmeg and pepper. Add a pinch of salt. Turn off heat and add drained pasta to the skillet, tossing until sauce coats the pasta evenly. Adjust seasonings and serve.