dear mark, the tomato paella was friggin genius p.s. i love you
bittman is my kind of cook. he’s the minimalist. he’s the anti-keller… i saw this in the wednesday dining section of the ny times, 5 weeks ago. then it started making the blog rounds but luisa’s version looked so alluring that i knew it was just a matter of time. so with what was likely my last batch of tennessee tomatoes, i knew i had to make this. first of all, i used an italian risotto. i searched two stores for some kind of real live spanish rice, but to no avail. so i stuck with what i had and it worked great. i do believe i wound up buying the most expensive pinch of spanish saffron known to man (note to self – stock up on some good saffron) but i wasn’t going to make this and then leave out the coveted ingredient. and then there’s my new best friend – pimenton. what a fabulous ingredient you are pimenton, all smokey and deep like a nina simone song. where have you been all my life?
there was garlic, onion, tomato paste, some pinot grigio, fresh basil and parsley and a totally great spanish olive oil that i got from zingerman’s. usually i don’t heat good oils, but i made an exception here and it was well worth it. these days i’m a big spanish and french olive oil fan – ‘butterier’ than italian. less of that peppery bite. but i use all the countries for different purposes and moods. it is one of the many ways that i amuse myself. i operate as an equal opportunity olive oil consumer. yes i do. so a friend came by and we had this as our main course with a loaf of olive bread. i forgot to make a salad so instead we drank more wine.
is there a correlation? perhaps so…