Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Homemade Pasta in Boston!

I lived in New York for 4 years and during that time I became a bonafide New York food snob. While I might not have written it explicitly, when I moved to Boston there was part of me thinking, “Oh my god, I am never again going to be able to eat in a decent restaurant or have fresh foods again!” You would have thought I was moving to a remote village in South America! Instead, I am happy to report that Boston has stood up again it’s big sister to the south west remarkably well.

While we do eat at home more here in Boston, it’s not for lack of great restaurants. I have been blown away by some such as O Ya and L’Espalier (a dinner I sadly regret never having written about). More recently I fell in love with Drink, down by the water front, for their amazing service and even more amazing cocktails. With that said, when leaving each of these places, in the back of my mind I thought, “In Boston, really? Who knew!”

What has really been amazing to learn is that I can get out of this world ingredients here in Boston that the New York food snob in me would have assumed were only in New York. In fact there are things I couldn’t get easily in New York which haven’t been a problem here at all. For example, sulfite free wine (the only kind I can drink) was impossible to find in New York and seems to be everywhere here in Boston!

The most recent amazement from this great city has been Dave’s Fresh Pasta. It’s a small specialty grocery on my walk from the T to our new home with some of the most amazing foods. Honestly, it blows Whole Foods out of the water with its cheeses, pastas, sandwiches and sauces, and while I am sure similar stores can be found in New York, I never lived next to one!

Some days I stop on the way home to pick up a pound of fresh rosemary pasta and have them cut it to linguine or angle hair depending on my mood. (Yes, they keep it in sheets and cut it to a size of your choosing while you watch!) Other nights, I’ll just grab a stinky blue cheese or a loaf of fresh foccacia. Yesterday, I picked up their Sun-dried tomato pesto, turkey, arugula and caramelized onion sandwich for dinner and a bottle of wine. It was amazing!

Every time I stop in I find something new and amazing. When I was talking to the sandwich man yesterday he told me they are expanding and taking over the two stores next door. Instead of adding seating, they are going to add more amazing groceries and foods (possibly even fresh fish!) I couldn’t be more excited and I didn't have anything close to Dave's in New York.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Why can't I blog?

I am not sure why I haven’t been able to write a decent blog post recently. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking and eating and enjoying it more than I should. It’s more than when I sit down at my computer I come up with 12 other things to do! I have photos, I have recipes, I want to share and yet I still don't. Until today!

This morning I was finally, for the first time in almost 2 months, inspired. It’s really only because it would be a shame to keep this to myself. I have no idea what to call it, because I didn’t create it. I had it for the first time at Dizzy’s more than a year ago. The first time I tasted it, it was on their specials menu and I gushed to the waitress and extracted a promise that they would serve it the following weekend.

So the following weekend I went back, and sure enough, there it was again and I was in heaven. It’s so simple and yet, so amazing. Basically they took some fresh focaccia bread and cubed it. They then tossed it with a drizzle of olive oil, basil, fresh grated Parmesan and fresh ground pepper. They then poached two eggs and threw them on top. See, I told you it was simple, and yet the yolk blends with the bread, the cheese adds just enough salt and the basil just gives it the wow factor. I think I ate it 3 or 4 weekends in a row.

Then we moved, and I haven’t had it since!

So this morning I realized I had made some fresh par baked bread last night and had enough left to try and pull this off. I was worried about the eggs, which is probably what has kept me from trying this for over a year, but decided to be a woman and grow up! I went to a post on Smitten Kitchen on how to poach and egg and read up. It was so much easier than expected.

When I pulled it all together, it was so beautiful I had to stop for a photo and it was there I knew I was going to write another blog post.

Go try this one, I promise, it’s well worth it. If you decide to loose faith in me as a blogger, that's fine because not only did I skip Thanksgiving AND Christmas, I forgot my 1 year anniversary of blogging. What's not fine is not treating yourself to this as soon as you can. This morning, I didn’t even share one single bite with JR and I think I am going to make it again tomorrow, just for me!