Hello Market Friends:
We have to start this week’s news with gratitude.
First, a giant thank you to stalwart delivery drivers Jay Brodbar, Jonathan Seglins, and Jay McPherson for navigating closed streets, snowbanks and drifts to deliver orders last Thursday!
I have to tell you that it was supposed to be a day off for Jay McPherson, and Jonathan spent four hours clearing enough snow to get his van the 200 metres to the nearest unblocked street so he wouldn’t let us down.
Special thanks as well to Nicole for braving the freezing temperatures all afternoon, to Julie Sobetki for arriving to pick up her order and drop off a box of hand warmers because she was worried about our outdoor crew, and to all the flexible and appreciative members of this market community.
This week, please welcome (even if it’s across the ether) our newest vendor, Letitia Mancini, who is joining us with her fledgling pasta making business, Tish’s Dishes! We have already learned a lot from Letitia, starting with the merits of different flours:
“The inability to access organic “00” flour has been an issue since the beginning of this adventure. I have been using organic all-purpose flour, organic whole wheat flour and organic spelt flour. The issue, for me, is that in using these flours I cannot achieve the texture of truly traditional pasta like my nonna (grandmother) used to make. If you try two servings of identically made pasta, one with “00” flour and the other made with all-purpose flour, you will understand the difference.
As for the difference between pressed/rolled versus extruded pasta, for me, it’s all about texture. However, there are a few more differences. Extruded pasta is thicker and has a dense texture. It is also less time-consuming to make from scratch. This quality allows for large batch production that you see from large producers like Barilla, Nestle and General Mills.
I make handmade pasta produced in small batches using high-quality ingredients, and my pasta offers better value for a few reasons. First, because I am selling traditionally dried pasta (meaning I am not selling water), you get more pasta per gram. Secondly, because the pasta is traditionally dried, it has a longer shelf life.”
Letitia is very eager to get your feedback on the shapes and flours you prefer, and to give you some inspiration, she sent us a winter pasta recipe. We would also love your feedback as we made some dairy edits! We’ve edited this recipe to swap the cheeses for some of our own vendors’ and think it will be lovely! To enjoy the traditional and tried n’ true recipe go with 350 g Fontina cheese, cubed (substitutions: Gruyère, provolone, Gouda, or Emmental also work) instead.
Fettuccini in Cheese, Potato & Cabbage Sauce
This sauce originates from the Valtellina area of Italy. It is best served on a cold night or after strenuous outdoor exercise as it is quite a robust dish.
- 350 g of fettuccine
- 350 g cabbage, roughly chopped
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried sage ( or 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage)
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped
- 175 g Pennance, cubed
- 175 g Water Buffalo Mozzarella, cubed
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 75 g Pecorino cheese, grated
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the cabbage and potatoes and cook for about 3 minutes or until just tender. Add the fettucini and cook for a further 3 to 5 minutes or until the fettucini is al dente. Reserve a cup of the cooking water and then drain.
Over medium heat, saute the garlic in the olive oil in a saucepan for 1 minute. Add the cheese cubes and mix briefly. The extra fatty richness or Water Buffalo cheeses is stupendous in rich sauces. Stir in the cabbage, potato and fettuccine and remove from the heat. Gently stir this together, adding some of the reserved water to loosen the sauce. Taste to correct for salt and add pepper if desired. Serve immediately with Pecorino cheese sprinkled on top.
We are sorry that our cheese fans have had a couple of weeks of credits instead of cheese! The unfortunate reason is that Covid has messed with the best laid plans at Monforte. We are optimistic that all will be well in time for this week’s orders. Please show Monforte lots of support as they get past this obstacle!
MotherDough is unable to take part this week because Carole has a knee injury. We’re sending her our best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Sosnickis are IN this week winter vegetables in just about every colour in the rainbow.
There is so much to learn from Jennifer at All Sorts Acres that she should think about opening a farm-based art school. She’s got needle felting and weaving kits, materials for sketching and ink drawings, and now handmade, archival watercolour paints. No shortage of inspiration here!
If you are looking to make a Secondo to go with your Fettuccini Primo, might we suggest Lemon and Garlic baked Chicken Thighs or poached Rainbow Trout with Thyme? Would you like something sweet for a light dessert? Or a coffee with that?
Or maybe just throw something in the oven and let our vendors do the cooking! At least it’s perfect weather to have the oven on…
Anne and The Market Crew