Blast that Sally Struthers. There she was, a Yoda-like avatar, whispering in my ear as I nibbled on nibbles of foie gras and caviar at Per Se. With each bite, she whispered, “Remember UNICEF, the starving children. For the cost of each morsel, you can feed a family of four for a year.” I knew she was right, but the food, the service, the view… Still, guilt was trumping enjoyment and I needed to make her disappear. Then it hit me, by the time course number two of eight arrived at the table, I had decided that the only way to rationalize the meal was to create my very own “Hunger Off-Set Program” (or HOP). It works like a carbon off-set program. Anytime my food consumption crosses the line from being merely excessive into the realm of unconscionable, I would make a donation to a hunger charity. A win-win, I got to gorge, but then paid for it twice.
Spaghetti al Caviale is much less costly than dinner at Per Se, even when made at home with domestic caviar, but I still think it crosses the line. Thus, this year’s New Year’s Eve dinner will certainly be delicious, but will be guilt free. So please folks, set up your very own HOP, enjoy the pasta, and then write the check. (And Sally, may the force be with you, where ever you are.)
Happy New Year and Buon Appetito!
p.s. Check out our wine pairings to complement this dish.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
In a large skillet, heat the butter until melted. Add the lemon juice and the wine. Cook together for about a minute. Add the cream, a touch of salt, and some black pepper. Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes until slightly reduced. Add most of the caviar and mix together over low heat for a couple of minutes.
Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain it, but retain a cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the caviar mixture. Heat together for a minute, adding a little bit of the water if it seems dry. Serve immediately with a garnish of caviar.