WRITTEN by CHEF DANIEL BOULUD for elledecor.com
When I opened my latest restaurant, on the Bowery in Manhattan, I wanted to honor the neighborhood and acknowledge one of its cultural icons, the late and lamented punk rock club CBGB, where everyone from Patti Smith to Blondie to the Ramones performed in the 1970s. So I named the restaurant DBGB. And I was so pleased when the Ramones’ drummer, Marky, started coming in. He told me he loved the place, and he soon became a regular.
Marky is originally a Brooklyn boy, and he knows and loves food. His grandfather, an Italian chef, created a special tomato sauce that Marky now produces and sells by the jar as Brooklyn’s Own Pasta Sauce in gourmet shops and online. He brought me some to try, and I loved it. I told him, “I am going to make a special pasta dish for you,” and this recipe is the result.
I give Marky’s basic sauce a boost by adding fresh fennel, onions, black olives, and sheep’s-milk ricotta. I serve the pasta with a heady garlic bread, making it a hearty meal. In fact, it has become one of the most popular items on the menu at DBGB.
Of course, you can use another jarred sauce, but I can’t guarantee the results will be as tasty. In fact, Marky’s sauce is so good, I recommend buying it by the case (go to markyramone.com) so you’ll always have a jar on hand. And if you want to see Marky himself eating pasta, stop by DBGB, since he usually comes in about once a week.
What to Drink
“With this intensely flavored pasta,” says Daniel Johnnes, wine director of Daniel Boulud’s restaurants, “I recommend a wine of equal intensity. Look for one from the volcanic soils of Mount Etna in Sicily. The Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso 2008 or 2009 [$17] has depth and spice without being heavy.” As an alternative, he proposes an American Zinfandel or Zinfandel blend. “The Ridge Geyserville 2007 [$31] is loaded with the flavors of dark berries and pepper,” he says, “so it can stand up to this hearty dish.”