Looks Like It's Going to Be a Red Sauce Kind of Weekend

On Wednesday, I wrote about the Coda alla Vaccinara (stewed beef tail) that Shawn Hubbell and I cooked for a farm dinner at Glynwood, and I mentioned that we made it—it’s actually safe to say that I usually make it—with one-inch cross-cuts of shank, which are meatier and more common than tails (coda means tail), and equally underappreciated. They also take forever to cook; even in a pressure cooker, more than an hour. So it’s best to think of this as a two-day project: the first to cook the meat, and the second to shred it. Perfect for the weekend.

For this dish, Shawn made his own pasta (there’s a video below, which is both instructional and pretty impressive). I’d call this shape trofie, which is traditionally Ligurian. (Not the sauce, though, at least in my experience; trofie is often served with pesto, green beans, and potatoes.)

When people ask for vegetarian pasta sauce instead of vaccinara, my choice is pretty easy: Arrabbiata. This is one of the many sauces I learned from my friend Andrea Graziosi while he was living with me in New Haven in 1984(!)—and it could well be the one I’ve since made most. (I am actually making some right now, that is, Tuesday at 10pm. Seriously.) “Arrabbiata” means “angry,” which everyone (me too) assumes is a reference to the chiles: This should be almost fiery. Be liberal with the black pepper, too.

I could go on, but I'll stop here (leaves more time for cooking). If you make or eat anything particularly amazing this weekend, feel free to tell me all about it. See you Monday.

— Mark

Photo: Romulo Yanes


Gorgeous? No. Delicious? Yes.


Here's a little clip of Shawn shaping the fresh pasta (trofie) that we served with the coda; you form each piece individually with a skewer. It's entirely possible that I'm too lazy to do this myself, but if I ever get a lesson from Shawn we'll come back and do a step-by-step tutorial.


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Questions, comments, brilliant suggestions? Just want to share the recipe for your grandma's potato salad, or your mom's meatloaf, or your uncle Drew's three-day 100-percent rye loaf (yes, please)? Don't hesitate to reach out anytime.