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Omnivore - Meal of the month: BoccaLupo's pasta tasting menu

Favorite dishes: farfalle with soy "mash" and timballo

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I visited BoccaLupo with my friend Ryan two weeks ago. We ate at the bar and ordered Chef Bruce Logue's pasta-tasting menu. We agreed that it was the best meal we'd had in a couple of months. The dish above particularly drew oohs and ahs when it hit the bar. I asked Logue to describe it:

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The dish ... is actually a play on the classic timballo (timpano) from Naples, made famous by the movie Big Night. It is a celebratory pasta that is baked inside of a shell and usually about a foot tall at the crown. When we do timballo we like it to be more southern so we bake ours in a bundt pan. The one you had was actually a straight up bolognese lasagna layered and baked inside of the shell instead of the traditional meatballs, ziti, and other common fillings.

As good as it was, though, my favorite was the farfalle with chanterelles, carrots, shallots, and garlic (right). The secret ingredient was "mashed, fermented soy". Its essential tastes - a bit salty-prickly, a bit liqueur-esque - dissolved into the overall velvety taste and texture. The stuff of fantasy.

Sitting at the bar was fun. At my right was a woman reading Quentin Crisp's The Naked Civil Servant.. I read it long ago and, although very young, she was giving it a second read. She asked me what I most "got" from the book, and I noted of course that it was among the first books I read by an openly gay man. She said she identified as a single person living in a city and loved Crisp's assertion that it's okay to be different. Hell yes. Just like Logue's pasta.