I have a cold. Or a sinus infection. Or maybe it’s allergies. I have symptoms pointing to all three possibilities and I’m bamboozled by my body’s ability to feel so ambiguously yucky. The weather is warming up, the skies are mostly clear, and I’m in bed with a box of tissues and a queue or Real Housewives reruns.
While the weather works out its springtime kinks, I’ll be working out the kinks in my sinuses. After all the vitamins, supplements, tea, and vegetables, I find myself aching for something more comforting and warm (read: pasta). On this eve of our upcoming Cheese Caves Week, a bowl of hot pasta sounds like the perfect thing to soothe my soul while I spend hours on WedMD self diagnosing.
This sick gal wants carbonara but is missing ingredients and has no energy to get to a grocery store. Said sick gal has loads of cheese in the fridge (after all, who do you think I am?) and a head full of either stubborn American ingenuity or enough muck to cloud my classic culinary judgments. A lovely chunk of Grotte Tartufo sat atop my pile of cheeses, begging to be grated atop my ‘kinda sorta’ carbonara. Grotte Tartufo doesn’t melt the way alpine style cheeses do and will rather wilt atop hot pasta rather than coat it. I began imagining a pure white iteration of carbonara and didn’t look back from there. This is how Grotte Tartufo met a partial Pasta Carbonara and how the working title was born. Friends, meet Tartufonara. Partially carbonara, but mostly carbonara technique applied to loads of cheese and pasta.
Use this recipe as a blank canvas and add other cheeses, spring vegetables, or not much else for your own (insert ingredient here)-onara. I felt better after a bowl of this, and I hope you do too.
- kosher salt
- 1 lb bronze dye cut pasta (This isn’t a classic recipe, so there are no rules! We loved it on calamarata, but a long noodle like spaghetti would make this feel more traditional)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
- 3 ounces Grotte Tartufo, roughly grated or chopped.
Bring a large part of water to a rolling boil and season with kosher salt. Add pasta and cook just past al dente. (The pasta will finish cooking as you toss with the sauce, but since this won’t happen over heat, we want the pasta to be just moments from being finished rather than minutes)
While pasta cooks, whisk eggs and Parmigiano in a large bowl until a pale yellow paste forms. When pasta in nearly ready to be pulled from the water, take a cup of pasta water from the pot and, while whisking the egg and Parm paste, slowly drizzle the pasta water into the paste. This will temper the egg so as not to become curds and help create a silky sauce. Remove pasta directly to the bowl with egg and cheese and toss to coat and finish cooking, adding more pasta water as needed. Just before serving, toss in Grotte Tartufo and any other ingredients you’d like to include (think blanched peas, chopped greens, or crispy prosciutto). Serve immediately.
“Ask Matt Caputo” is an ongoing feature where Matt answers commonly asked questions from the market. This week, he reviews selections for a pairing we can’t necessarily get behind – red wine and dark chocolate – but don’t want to leave you hanging (without chocolate, that is).
I know wine doesn’t generally work as a good pairing with chocolate but do you have any recommendations for California wines and chocolate from makers in the USA?
Unless I already have a dessert wine open, I ALWAYS reach for something other than wine to pair with chocolate. The reason is that it is just almost always worse together than apart. At least when it comes to red and dark the type of dark chocolate that I like. Ya know, the type that tastes like cacao rather than a marshmallow. However, I have a friend who recently provided a list there is some California stuff on there, but my advice remains “reach for beer, whiskey, rum or Cognac and you will be much happier!”
That said, we know some will still reach for a bar of chocolate after opening a bottle of wine. If that’s you, here is the a list of curated pairings from our friend Roxanne Browning of Exotic Chocolate Tasting:
90 plus cellars 23 old vines Malbec – Argentina – Dick Taylor Belize
Norton Reserva Malbec Argentina – Ritual Novo Coffee
Mirassau Pinot Nior – Amedei 63%
Jimenez Landi Bajondillo Spain – Solstice Uganda
PSST! Want to know more? Join us at an Intro to Fine Chocolate class!
Disclaimer: While Matt Caputo is a Certified Cheese Professional and specialty food fanatic, he is not a medical professional, doctor, or certified nutritionist. Please consult with your doctor or other qualified health care professional before making any healthcare decisions, diagnostics or treatment decisions based on Matt’s answers.
You’ll never guess what we’re bringing to our NYE parties. What? Ok, fine, we ARE bringing cheese. But, it’s not just because we’re total cheese nerds (still true), it’s because small soft-ripened cheeses are a natural and utterly perfect pairing for sparkling wines. Whether you’re toasting with the real deal Champagne, it’s Italian cousin, prosecco, or a domestic sparkler, we’ve got you covered. Here are the three pairings we’re noshing on as we leave 2018 behind:
Adami Garbel and La Tur
This Piedmontese blend of cow, sheep, and goat milks ripens from the outside in, making it creamy near the rind with a fluffy, mousse-like interior. A wash of Adami’s prosecco lights up the paste with a floral finish that will give fireworks a run for their money.
Mumm Napa Brut Rose and Andante Minuet
Minuet is a triple cream stunner made with goat’s milk and enriched by cow’s milk creme fraiche. The buttery richness we expect is a triple cream is there, but backed by tangy acidity from the goat’s milk. Paired with the Mumm, well, it’s makes the importance of a New Year’s rather uninteresting.
Perrier Jouet Brut and Camembert
For our high rollers and those of you splurging on your last night of 2018. This farmstead French cheese has aromas of garlic, raw broccoli and Brussels sprouts, with faint notes of seawater in the background. Paired with this dry bottle, it’s a more savory pairing than the others, but more complex and intense on the finish. You’ll really set the bar high for 2019.
If anyone knows a thing or two about fabulous salumi, it’s our friend and hero, Eli Cairo. Eli is one of our most beloved SLC expats and the owner/master of Olympia Provisions. We’re very lucky to be the only retailer of his Cotechino, the base of the most popular New Year’s Day dish in Italy said to bring luck and wealth in the coming year. Here’s Eli’s own recipe:
Probably one of my all-time favorite eating traditions involves gorging myself on super tender lentils that have been cooking with a juicy, flavor-packed sausage… FACT. The tradition comes from the Emilian-Romagna region of Italy, where they believe that the more coin-shaped Cotechino and lentils you eat on New Year’s Day, the more luck and wealth you will have in your next year… PROBABLY FACT. I am a superstitious Greek man who cannot turn down the opportunity to get lucky and prosper… FACT.
Cotechino is known for its unique texture (slightly “sticky” from skin) and big flavors (sweet cinnamon and spicy chili flake). I make it once a year, for luck, and this year I want to share it with all of you! After all, who can’t use a bit more luck in the coming year?
I hope you enjoy!
COTECHINO CON LENTICCHIE
A NEW YEAR’S TRADITION
3 hr cook time
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 small carrots, diced
- 2 small celery stalks, diced
- ½ pound green lentils
- 3 quarts chicken stock
- 1 bunch thyme, washed and tied with butcher twine
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 Cotechino, peeled and cut into ½ inch slices
- Salt to taste
- 2 bunches of green onions, cut on a bias
- Pre heat your oven to 350F.
- Place a medium size pot with a tight fitting lid on your stove top on medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion, carrots, and celery. Cook for about 15 minutes stirring with a wooden spoon taking care not to burn them. You are looking for a really tender veg with minimal color.
- Add the lentils and give them a good stir. Add 2 quarts of the chicken stock and bring to a simmer stirring to ensure that you do not scorch the lentils to the bottom of the pan. Once the lentils have started to simmer add the bunch of thyme and a good pinch of salt. Place a lid on top of your pot and place it in your oven for one hour.
- At the hour point check your lentils. You are looking for a really tender lentil. NO CRUNCH AT ALL!! If they need a bit more time check that there is enough liquid. They should be “soupy” if they need more liquid add the remainder of the chicken stock.
- When you are happy with the texture of you perfectly tender lentils remove them from your oven and place them on a very low heat on your stove top. Add the sherry vinegar give it a good stir taste for salt then add the sliced sausages to the lentils. Place the lid on top and allow the sausages to heat through. About ten minutes.
- At this point you should take out the champagne that you so wisely did not finish from last night and pour a glass for yourself. Add the scallion to the lentils (not the champagne), and portion into 6 bowls. Remember that the more you eat the luckier you will be and how much we here at op appreciate you all.
I’ve finally done it. I, Adri, of gifting procrastination and of slow wrapping skill, have completed my holiday shopping EARLY.
Try as I might, I have never before been able to finish my to-do list for gifts on time. December 22nd rolls around and I finally realize how behind I am. I run all over the city looking for gifts at picked-over stores and pop-up shops (arms flailing above my head the whole time), and I finally realize the perfect gifts have been right under my nose the whole time. At Caputo’s, of course.
Here’s what I know: Everyone likes to eat. Artisan food will always be in style. Why not let your friends and family eat the very best and most delicious treats available? Here’s your guide to the very best last-minute gifts. One gift for each of the 12 days of Christmas, a la Caputo’s:
1. Utah Chocolate – You can never go wrong gifting chocolate, especially in Utah. The Beehive State is internationally recognized as a well known hub for craft chocolate, in both consumption and production. Utah is home to five bean-to-bar chocolate companies that are putting themselves on the fine-chocolate map with their artisan bars and dedication to creating the best chocolate possible. Give your pals a taste of Utah with this perfect collection of fine dark chocolate, all made in Utah.
2. Local Treasures Gift Collection – This is the ideal choice for the locavore in your life. We’ve hand selected seven items that are not only made locally, but they’re world-class artisan products. From bean-to-bar chocolate to smoky and savory chili oil, this is sure to please you local-lovin’ pals.
3. Tinned Seafood – It may sound strange to you today, but hear me out. Tinned seafood is about to experience a revival I would liken to the whiskey boom of the past decade or the fermented food craze we’re in the thick of now. Sustainable protein in beautiful packaging sounds like the perfect savory stocking stuffer to counter all the sweet things headed your belly’s way. (Psst… read more about this food revival here.)
4. Underberg Digestif – We’re in the middle of a craft cocktail and bitters revival here, people! Along with some truly fantastic locally made bitters, Underberg is another home bar necessity. These tiny bottles of German digestifs are the perfect spicy backbone for a cocktail or the perfect medicine for an over-filled belly after Christmas dinner. Shake into cocktails or sip solo, either will be a welcome treat to your palate. Stuff into stockings or stock your pals’ bars, but be sure to keep a bottle or two for yourself as well.
5. Caputo’s Cheese Cave Collection – Our market was founded on our love of cheese, and that love has only grown stronger with our burgeoning cave program. One cave just wasn’t cutting it for us. We need more room to to add additional wheels of cheese into their ideal aging environment (it makes them as absolutely delicious as possible, not to mention healthier). Affinage is happening every second. Wanna know what the cave is all about, or want to share your knowledge? This is the perfect choice. Four of our favorite cave-aged cheeses come bundled and ready to eat. Hopefully they share with you!
6. Blue’s Chocolates – The country’s most inimitable filled chocolates live right here at Caputo’s. These little treasures are handmade in Berkeley, CA and are only available at Blue’s Chocolate stores and Caputo’s. Not only does Blue’s Chocolates use locally-made Solstice Chocolate, they make products that are utterly divine. One taste will convince anyone of their superiority. The good news for you is that there are plenty of box sizes to choose from. There’s a perfect size for each person depending on how naughty or nice they’ve been this year.
7. Luxardo Cherries – There’s something incredibly attractive about shaking a cocktail shaker around like a mad person…or like you know what you’re doing. If your loved ones are getting into the craft-cocktail movement and experimenting at home, this is the perfect gift. Luxardo cherries are steeped in history and are the original Maraschino cherry that those chemical red sugar-bombs are attempting to imitate. Garnish classic cocktails like an Old Fashioned or Manhattan, throw into pork pan sauces, and chop into ice cream custards and cake batters. These will be the jar that empties the fastest this season.
8. Viola Colleruita Olive Oil – An Italian condiment olive oil is the ideal gift for those taking Italian food seriously. If someone on your list is looking to unleash their inner Marcella Hazan, this will become a key finishing component for nearly every dish. Think of the brightest, greenest flavors of summer and now imagine harnessing those very flavors in the dead of winter. This is the way do it. Use this oil for finishing roasted dishes, drizzle over vegetables and protein alike, and save a few drops for your gelato (I’m serious). It doesn’t get any more flavorful, or Italian, than this.
9. Caputo’s Apparel – This is our new take on good taste. We’re not just gifting with your wonderful taste in food in mind, but we’re here to outfit you and yours in Caputo swag, too! Toddlers to adults can rep the Caputo brand all winter in cozy sweatshirts and warm beanies. One for them, and one for you!
10. Caputo’s Classic Gift Collection – If you’re fond of the good ol’ days and want to share some tasty nostalgia with your pals, this is the collection for you. It’s like a shopping spree of our award winning market bundled into a gift, and ready to be unloaded into the pantry or right on into a pot for dinner. Snacks, provisions, sweet indulgence, and the makings for a tasty weeknight meal all rolled into one. What’s not to love?
11. Fresh Truffles – For the gourmand in your life. This is it. The most luxurious and ultimately wonderful gift for your foodie friend, or you can use it as the focal point of you holiday meal. We’re air-shipping truffles into our downtown market as often as is needed to ensure a fresh, aromatic supply. This friend will have just the recipe to shave these beauties over and I sure hope you get an invitation to the meal. Just the aroma knocks you off your feet, so imagine what your finished entree will do.
12. Class Certificates – Give the gift of food (or drink!) knowledge. It’s the perfect gift for a couple or a friend who might be new to either cooking or the Salt Lake valley. Pick up a certificate for the amount of the class, plus the optional beverage pairing, and let them choose the best class for their calendar and tastes. We’ll help you give the exact dollar amount or round up so your giftee can pick up a special little treat after the class. Choose from cheese or chocolate tastings, cooking classes, or whiskey classes. You read that right: whiskey classes! Remember that bucket list from SL Mag? Send them to class!
You’re still not sure what to give, and you haven’t started shopping yet? That’s OK, we won’t tell a soul. In an effort to inspire your food gifting, here’s what some of your favorite faces from Caputo’s are giving to their friends and family this year.
Don’t see your favorite monger here? Drop by before the holiday—we’re open through the afternoon of Christmas Eve—and ask them for their personal recommendations. We’re certainly not lacking in opinions around here.
So, here you have it: each of our gift picks for 2018:
Crybaby Bay Leaf Bitters: These bitters are unreal, and local, to boot! Cody has created a bitters that can completely replace the musky, depth offered by a classic aromatic bitters, but does so with a unique set of flavors and ingredients. Substitute these in any classic cocktail that calls for aromatic bitters, you’ll be both completely impressed and wildly pleased.
NEW! Caputo’s Apparel: THIS IS NOT A PROMO. Literally every. single. person. on
Yelena’s Santa’s list is getting the newest Caputo’s swag. Available for tots, kids, and adults. Everyone deserves the gift of good taste, both on their shoulders and in their bellies.
Director of Education (and self-proclaimed office monkey)
Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking:
(available in stores)
If you’ve been to a class, you already know. This is the absolute authority on Italian cooking in Adri’s opinion. No other Italian cookbook is as thorough in explanations of process and history, nor as widely revered as one of the best. For those people in your life that are just getting into cooking or could use a refresher on regional Italian recipes, this is it.
Marou Cacao Cashew Spread: We love anything from Marou. Their attention to flavor, detail, and overall experience are second to none. This cacao cashew spread is like a silky, mellow alternative to the classic cacao and hazelnut combo without some of the oil-y finish. Alicia is certainly gifting this, but we think she deserves one for herself, too.
Affineuse AKA maker of all tasty things from our Cheese Caves
Personal Netflix & Chill Snack Pack: No one spends more time loving on our cheeses than our fearless leader, Antonia. This collection of snacks from our Cheese Caves and award winning shelves are the perfect essentials for a cozy night in. We’re thinking a craft cocktail, cheese board, chocolate bites, and an all-night binge of all the shows we missed while playing Santa’s helper this month. Add one goodnight kiss and this is the night in of our dreams.
Pump Street Father Christmas (available in stores): Craft chocolate molded into the shape of beloved St Nick?! What’s not to love? Jamey may or may not be the king of last minute gifting, but he sure knows how to make a tasty choice.
Holladay General Manager
Bitters book (available in stores): Austin is turning his entire family into a clan of cocktail aficionados. This book is full of both great information and history, but is also a one-stop resource for our favorite classic and newfound recipes.
The One & Only Tony Caputo
Owner and man behind the magic
Tony may be sporting the last of our winter black truffles, but fear not! The long awaited white truffles are on their way to our stores, and hopefully the next stop is your dinner tables. Your favorite Caputo’s monger has the scoop on how to best use them, but if you’re lucky, you can catch Tony himself for his favorite recipes, and new fashion accessory?
I was fully prepared to skip Thanksgiving this year. I’d phoned in my regretful absence to all invitations with the hopes of spending my Thanksgiving alone. I’ve been really enjoying the quiet of my home and wanted to let that particular gratitude sink. I’m grateful for my able body, my safe space that is home, and my own growth and newfound comfort in being myself all on my own. Plus, I hate being told what to make or how to do it. Cereal sounded just fine. The ol’ turkey day classics seemed wholly unappetizing to me this year.
And then it happened.
You’ll be shocked to know that we sample many, many things at Caputo’s meetings. Once your surprise subsides, carry on reading. At one such meeting yesterday while discussing the many things I love to make with honey in this particular season, my fennel pollen and honey glazed carrots came up. Yelena’s face lit up, Matt made a weird grunty noise, and just like that, I was planning a Thanksgiving meal, all for me. These are the carrots that put me back in the mood to celebrate, even if it’s a party of one. A turkey is simply out of the question when cooking for one, but the rest of what I’m making is easily scaled down for one eater, plus leftovers, of course. Cranberries, stuffing, carrots, root veg gratin, and the smallest chicken I can find are on the menu this year, followed by a tarte tatin that will likely be brought to work the next week.
So here you have it, the carrots that inspired a real Thanksgiving. When I’m long gone from this world, I hope my family and friends continue to enjoy this dish for generations to come. They’re one of my favorite recipes, and they me.
Fennel Pollen and Honey Glazed Carrots
Serves 4 as a side
- 30 petite carrots or 16-20 medium carrots, peeled and cut to a uniform(ish) size
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1-2 large spoonfuls honey
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon fennel pollen
Heat a large stainless steel skillet and melt butter over medium heat. Add carrots in one even layer, and raise heat to just to medium high. Turn carrots a few times over the course of about 15-20 minutes so all sides are browned and carrots are tender, but still slightly crisp in the center. Drizzle a spoonful of honey over the carrots, toss, and keep on the heat for another 1-2 minutes. Add salt to taste and finish with the sprinkling of ¾ of the fennel pollen. Toss once more and transfer to a serving dish and finish with the remaining fennel pollen, and maybe some flaky salt, before serving.