For one week a year, I get to see all my international publishing friends. At the end of May each year, publishers and booksellers flock to New York for the annual Book Expo. The difference now is that I get to avoid the cacophonous Javits Center and just enjoy seeing my old publishing pals at fun dinners. The highlight of my week was a seven course tasting menu at Sushi Nakazawa. For those of you who have seen the incredible documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, you may remember Jiro’s apprentice who labors for months perfecting his tamago sushi (egg sushi). That same apprentice, Daisuke Nakazawa, moved to New York and opened his eponomous restaurant in the West Village and I’ve been dying to go ever since.
Each year, I try to find the perfect place to take my friend Andrea from Switzerland. This year, the stakes were high as she was introducing me to her fiancé Hannes. Sushi Nakazawa did not disappoint; each spectacular course was paired with a new sake followed by the grand finale of his now famous tamago sushi. There’s a formality, authenticity and simplicity to the food that is utterly Japanese and made me miss Tokyo and the single mindedness of each eatery.
The fair ended, my friends left and the rain set in. I craved a night on the sofa with a bowl of my favorite comfort food and a good book. I turned to one of my staples that I have bizarrely never shared on this blog. It’s the one dish where I always have every ingredient on hand and never need to leave home to satisfy a craving. It even includes a green vegetable to feel vaguely virtuous. Less so when washed down with a gin and tonic with Haber’s tasty tonic!
Orecchiette with Broccoli
1/2 lb orecchiette
3 anchovy fillets
1 clove garlic (peeled)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup of broccoli florets (fresh or frozen work just as well)
crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon butter
freshly grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and start cooking the pasta.
2. In a pestle and mortar, crush the anchovy and garlic to a paste.
3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the anchovy garlic paste on a low heat. Next add, the broccoli, some red pepper flakes and continue cooking and stirring for 4-5 minutes.
4. Just before you drain the pasta, remove a cup of the boiling water for later use.
5. Add the drained pasta to the frying pan. Stir well and add the butter and a handful of grated cheese. If too dry, add some of the reserved water.