I daresay there is a traditional dish from somewhere on the Italian peninsula that resembles this dish in some way, but in a radical, free-form departure from our blogging norms, we didn’t follow any kind of recipe here nor do the slightest bit of research in preparation. By way of an excuse, we didn’t really have time.
We’d been out for almost the entire day on yet another soul-destroying search for a new place to live, and, feeling rather bilious and irritable, were in need of emotional restoration. Returning to our soon-to-be former residence, we passed the Japanese-run fishmongers and noticed a small pot of monkfish liver just aching to be ours. Then, passing Russo’s our neighboring Italian specialty store, we bagged ourselves a box of their freshly-made spaghetti alla chitarra. Some light cream that needed finishing off, some chopped garlic, a splash of white wine, a sprinkle of chopped parsley, and fifteen minutes later, we were enjoying a the slightly bitter, oily maritime flavor of monkfish liver with a glass of chewy, slightly leathery Basilicatan aglianico. And if we weren’t completely emotionally restored afterward, we were hopeful enough to risk making another series of appointments to see terminally-dismal overpriced Brooklyn apartments the next day.
In the single beat of a butterfly’s wing causing a hurricane sense, I am convinced this dinner had a key influence on our house-hunting travails, as by sundown the following day we were the mightily relieved soon-to-be tenants of an actual house. In fact, it’s a pity monkfish liver is such poor material for an amulet, otherwise I feel certain I would be henceforth sporting an oily brown luck charm around my neck.
- 4oz monkfish liver
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons light cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- kosher salt
- big splash white wine
- 1lb fresh spaghetti alla chitarra
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Toss in the garlic and saute gently for two minutes
- Add wine. Allow to reduce by about half
- Toss in monkfish liver and mash a little with the back of your wooden spoon.
- Cook for about 1 minutes. Add cream and stir well.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, boil abundant salted water.
- Cook spaghetti for about 3 or 4 minutes, drain and add to sauce.
- Stir spaghetti into sauce and sprinkle with parsley.
- Serve immediately with large glasses of wine