Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fresh Pasta Down the Block

If you're a food fanatic (or maybe a food snob) and have become as obsessed with the Food Network as I have recently, then you, too, understand how much high quality ingrediants can make a dish taste that better. My dad has always been a bit of a health freak, and I remember how jealous I'd be of other kids when I was growing up who were allowed to drink Kool-Aid and eat white bread (things that were never stocked in our house). We drank juice or water and ate wheat bread. I remember being upset that I couldn't eat the junk food that the other kids were eating. Don't get me wrong, it's not like we never ate chips or pizza or fast food, but my parents always tried to limit our intake. Years of misunderstanding have finally paid off as I now choose to eat wheat bread over white and buy fresh foods and veggies, and try to shy away from processed foods. But, another thing my parents instilled in me was to strive for a high quality of food that I took for granted in my younger years. We weren't rich...we didn't buy gourmet...but we did eat well. Thanks mom and dad...as usual...you guys were right.

Anywho, I've been loving the Food Network show Everyday Italian with Giada DeLaurentis - her recipes are overall simple and always tasty, and thanks to her recipes, I've finally started cooking with fresh pasta. Wow! What a difference it makes...even if you just get the fresh pasta from the regular grocery store. So, when I found out there was a place nearby that makes fresh pasta daily, I knew I had to check it out...asap!



When you enter Pasta & Provisions, you are greeted by a cooler filled with yummy sauces, including Marinara, Marinara with Meatballs, Alfredo, Basil Pesto, and more.



Follow the counter to the left and take a peek as you walk to see their fresh olives, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatos, pine nuts, and other goodies that can be nearly impossible to find at the grocery store sometimes.



Just past the counter is another cool stocked full of more sauces and fresh pastas, including manicotti, ravioli, and stuffed shells. The fresh pasta is ordered at the front, cut to your order and sold by the pound.



Inside the other side of the store is a collection of fine wines and other gourmet goodies like Amaretti cookies (often used in Giada's dishes) - this is the first place I've seen them sold.



I ended up coming home with a complete dinner: manicotti, bolognese sauce, freshly shredded mozarella, rosemary foccacia bread, organic salad mix, and a bottle of pinot grigio



I put everything together and baked for about 45 minutes. A far longer cooking time than the other fresh pastas, like angel hair, which literally cooks in under a minute.



See - all done and looking good!



All I have to say is, "Squisito!"

4 comments:

White Lily said...

My parents were the same as yours. We never had any kind of processed food around the house. They didn't allow us to eat sweets or junk from outside.

If it wasn't fresh and bought the same day or the day before it wasn't edible.

I first tasted a snack from a bag (cheetos) when I was 19!!!

I really like "Every day Italian" I love her tuffoli pasta recipe with light italian bechamel sauce, chopped pancetta, and parmezan...

Lys said...

*sigh* We have one italian market but its never open by the time I get home. I'll need to see if we have anything like that in Winter Park (2 towns over and prone to gourmet stuff).

I love Giada's recipes...

Shopaholic D said...

White Lily - hey, I'm not the only one after all!?

Lys, Winter Park FL? I used to live in Orlando...I went to church in
WP...a long time ago, though.

Too bad about the Italian Market...this one closes at 7PM, so
depending on how long the day at work is, I'd miss it, too. Is it
open on the weekends at least? It's so hard to find good gourmet
shops.

:) D

Dani said...

Hum, it looks delicious. Great place!
Nice weekend :)