Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spring is here!

There are many things I like and dislike about living in LA. One thing I really love is the availability of farmer's markets. You can find one somewhere, every day of the week. So this morning I went to the one on Arizona and 3rd St, in Santa Monica. The morning was cloudy and so it was perfect for walking around. Spring is here and you can really see it. Fava beans, sweet peas, zuchinni flowers, beautiful leafy greens of all sorts, plump tomatoes, a feast.. Two days ago, I made pesto, and as usual, I made more then I will use so I have some left to use through the week. A mineral dealer friend, Riccardo Prato, from Genoa, Italy, gave me this very delicious pesto tip,  he told me to skip the garlic. We tried it there and you know what? It was so perfect! I think the garlic overpowers the basil. So I've been going garlicless.
Back to the farmers market. There is one cheese producer that has lots of goat and buffalo cheeses. Today,
I decided to buy burrata. Burrata is a mix between mozzarella and cream. It is a mozzarella ball with a light cream and mozzarela filling. It sound heavy but it really isn't. it feels fresh and light. So I decided to make a salad with sliced tomatoes, prosciutto, burrata and kalamata olives. All drizzled with pesto and a little balsamic. It is one perfect meal.
Here is the pesto:
1 big bunch of basil
1/2 cup of pine nuts
1/2 cup of pecorino or parmigiano (grated)
1 cup of olive oil (you can add more to control how runny you want it)
salt to taste
Blend everything in a food processor
I sometime would try it a couple times and add more cheese or pine nuts.
Serve over pasta.
In Italy they toss it with short pasta like penne, and add cubes of  cooked potatoes and string beans or asparagus. It sounds weird to mix potatoes with pasta, but try it and tell me later.


  1. Yuhuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!
    que deliciaaaaaaaaaaa!!


  2. Garlicless...sounds like kind of like being naked when thinking Italian cooking ha ha

    Thanks Luciana for sharing the recipe above...I like to make my own all the time but good to hear the basics again as I tend to get to creative and this brings it all back home again. Thanks!

    Here is something for you and you may already know if this pasta. A Chicago Italian family I know and who I have shared many meals with liked to cook up this pasta noodle that is hard to find and it takes a little longer to cook too but the noodle is hollow so it soaks up the sauce really well. It is called Percatelli and it is made my De Cecco (Dee Jecko)if I am pronouncing it correctly. It makes for a hearty pasta meal and yes I have had it with potatoes...and Italian sausage. I don't make it for me that often as the salad you have made here is more heart healthy :-)

    So now we are mining for recipes...perfect!

    Off on a great start!