Green beans with balsamic pesto were fantastic. Rich pesto deliciousness coupled with the virtue and crispiness of vegetable.
Also amazing: brodetto -- "the king of Romagna's seafood stews." I've always been unnerved by recipes for bouillabaisse and cioppino that call for making a stock with bones and heads of fish to which you add pounds and pounds of expensive crustaceans. Kasper's brodetto was affordable and super-easy. You start by simmering chopped onions in red wine vinegar until "rosy" and soft, then add olive oil and fry. In go canned tomatoes, a bottle of white wine, garlic, and a few pounds of whatever seafood you like. I used calamari, shrimp, rock cod, and clams -- all in the sub $6.99/pound range from Whole Foods. A kingly seafood stew that can be enjoyed by the bourgeoisie.
Must also mention the popular Torta Barozzi, a cake whose innate elegance is not captured by my photography.
Here's Kasper: "Torta Barozzi is to chocolate cake what a diamond is to zircon. It looks like yet another flourless chocolate cake, but one mouthful banishes any sense of the mundane. This is a chocolate essence, moist and fudgy, with secret ingredients known only to the baker. "
Secret ingredient: peanut butter. Probably better to tell this secret.
I don't share Kasper's unbridled enthusiasm for Torta Barozzi, but I am notoriously unreliable on the subject of chocolate. Everyone else went completely crazy over it.