I had a hankering for pasta last night. Right, I know. Same thing happens to you. Normally, I just boil water, toss in the penne, spaghetti, or the whathaveyou, which is a really delicious pasta from Puglia shaped like The Pope’s Nose, and in a separate pan heat up olive oil, then toss in a finely chopped celery stalk, carrot, and red onion. Add some Pomi. Add some chopped veal or grind up yellowfin tuna or turkey or whatevah, which is a type of meat from the rare, heritage breed of cattle now found only in southeastern Lombardy, and before the pasta is done, I toss it with the sauce. Add grated parmigiano, a little black pepper, and a little olive oil, and we’re good to go.
But last night I found myself downtown between Mark Morris and Game 5 so had to eat out.
I settled on the very wonderful Market: Hirame! Red Snapper! Cheeseburger! Killer service! Great room!
I had thought of Bolognese, but the prices? Insane! Why is pasta so pricey in Boston? Are the ingredients better than NYC? Are the chefs better? We all know that these are not the right questions.
I do know the answer. Yes, you, with your hand in the air?
Correct! Limited competition!
Here are the facts:
Via Matta: Tagliatelle alla Bolognese $26
Sportello: Tagliatelle Bolognese $24
Stella’s: Tagliatelle Bolognese $18
Teatro: Rigatoni Bolognese $20
Babbo: Pappardelle Bolognese: $21
Locanda Verde: Pappardelle Bolognese $19
Da Silvano: Tagliatelle Bolognese $18.5
Orso: Tagliatelle Bolognese $21
Amazing, huh? In Boston, you have Schlow (Via Matta) & Lynch (Sportello) selling pasta at 20-30% higher than Batali (Babbo) and Carmellini (Locanda Verde).
Here’s a remedy:
Boil a big pot of heavily salted water. While you’re waiting, dice a carrot, a celery stalk, and a small red onion. Put about 1/3 cup of good olive oil in a pan. Heat the oil, add the vegetables, stir until they are softened. Add about a pound of chopped up tuna, chopped veal or chopped turkey. Stir until brown. Turn off heat. Add a cup of Pomi tomato sauce. Return to lowest heat. Add salt and pepper. Stir. When water is boiled, add pasta. Cook until nearly done. Drain, but reserve a little of the water. Place pasta in the a sauce. Stir and cook until al dente. Correct the salt. Place in bowls. Grate the cheese, see above, and add the black pepper. Eat hot. Total cost is about $9 for four people (as long as you save the oil, cheese, tomato sauce that has not been used).