Matthew McCartney, Jamestown Fish
A native New Yorker with more than 20 years of experience in the restaurant business, McCartney has worked in some of Manhattan’s finest establishments: Restaurant Daniel, Gramercy Tavern and Craft. Earlier in his career, he worked at a Michelin three-star restaurant in France and the renowned Cibreo in Florence, Italy. McCartney has also studied in England and speaks four languages. Cathy and John Recca “discovered” McCartney at the well-respected Connecticut restaurant Pasta Nostra, and they convinced him to be the chef at their new restaurant, Jamestown Fish. This passionate chef always gives his guests a memorable experience. 14 Narragansett Avenue, Jamestown. 423-3474, www.jamestownfishri.com
Rose Hill Farm, South Kingstown
The key ingredient – butternut squash – is from Rose Hill Farm in South Kingstown. Chef McCartney said his restaurant relies on a variety of local farms, but all their squash needs are met by farmer Will Lord at Rose Hill.
Fall Squash Soup (Passato di Zucca)
1/2 red onion
1/2 celery stalk
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tomato, peeled and crushed
1 medium/large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into large cubes
1 tsp salt
1 qt vegetable broth
2 oz whole-milk ricotta (Narragansett Creamery is recommended) Freshly grated nutmeg, about 1/8 tsp
1/2 c grated Parmigiano*
6 amaretti cookies, ground*
3 oz diced Mostarda di Cremona (a sweet-and-sour condiment from Cremona, Italy)*
1 stick butter, melted until it turns brown in color*
*Small additional amounts of these ingredients will be needed to garnish each serving.
Prepare the soffritto by finely chopping the onion, celery and carrot in a food processor. Place the raw soffritto and olive oil in an iron skillet over medium heat, and cook slowly until it takes on a bronze color. Be patient, this takes time. Add the garlic, red pepper and tomato, and continue to cook for one minute. Transfer the soffritto to a soup pot, and add the cubes of squash and salt. Cover the squash with vegetable broth, and bring to a simmer. Cook until the squash is soft and can be pureed. Turn off the heat and begin to add the finishing ingredients. When they are all added, blend using a handheld emulsion blender. Adjust the consistency by adding the remaining vegetable stock or water. Check the seasonings for taste. There should be a nice balance between spice, sweet and savory. Garnish with additional grated Parmigiano, ground amaretti cookies, diced mostarda and a drizzle of brown butter. Makes six servings.