This creation is our response to the Chicago Tomato Fest BLT challenge that is taking place at a good handful of Chicago restaurants for the next month or so.
I have to say I was pretty stumped on this one.
There is a big side of me that says, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”
On the other hand, it’s engaging to reconsider something so common. I also felt most colleagues weren’t going to bend too far out on the common theme – other than maybe just substitute the bacon for some other protein. I almost – and maybe should have – prepared an MLT – Mutton, Lettuce, & Tomato sandwich in honor of Miracle Max from The Princess Bride.
Anyhow, the above dish started by thinking about an amatriciana sauce (sauce with tomatoes & guanciale). But then I couldn’t decide how to get the bread into it without simply making a sandwich. So that led to an Italian theme… which led to ravioi… then finally to cannelloni. In the end (at least for now) the dish is this:
Spigarello (lettuce) from Nichols Farm, filled inside of brioche (bread), wrapped in Slagel Farm’s Bacon, and an arrabiatta sauce of Leaning Shed heirloom tomatoes.
I began with reasoning with myself that pasta is a dough and consists of pretty much the same ingredients as bread, right?
But though it kind of made sense, it still seemed too much a stretch.
Jens convinced me to go with the brioche and it worked well enough. In the end, I have a hard time calling it a BLT on the menu as I’m not sure our guests will ‘get it’. I’m not sure if I even do.