02 October, 2011

Market Day Pasta

Moving is never easy..

For the greater portion of my first month in Italy I was lost when it came to food. The grocery store across from my house left much to be desired, dusty cans and moldy produce made me dread my weekly shopping excursions. For 3 weeks I just chalked it up as a cultural experience and made the best of it because without a car my options were pretty limited. Then I found the market.
Mercato Trionfale is one of the biggest and cheapest markets in all of Rome, it also happens to be within walking distance of my house. The market boasts have dozens of stands selling everything from buffalo mozzarella and prosciutto, to fresh fruits and mushrooms. This is what shopping was meant to be.

One of my favorite meals I have deemed "market day pasta", it's a combination of the fresh pasta and vegetables that have become staples of my weekly market trips.

Market Day Pasta

2 tomatoes
2 japanese egg plants (or one medium eggplant)
1 clove of garlic
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 pinches of dried red pepper flakes
1 cup of cauliflower
2 ounces smoked mozzarella
1/2 tablespoon rosemary
4-6 oz fresh fettucini

Place water to boil.

Using a cheese grater grate the egg plants and cauliflower florets, this makes almost a ground-beef like texture.
You may opt to slice some of the eggplant to add into the veggies for aesthetics.
Add to the pan with diced garlic, rosemary, olive oil, pepper flakes and diced tomatoes, sauté.

Once the water boils add the fettucini and leave in for one to two minutes.

Take two spoonfuls of pasta water and add to the vegetable sauté.

Drain the pasta and add to the vegetables.

Dice the mozzarella into small pieces and add to the pan, stir on medium heat until the cheese is melted.

Add salt and pepper flakes to taste.
Be careful adding salt, the smoked mozzarella can be very salty.


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