Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cooking in Beantown

Skinny Italian: Eat It and Enjoy It - Live La Bella Vita and Look Great, Too!

So I have cooking in the title of my blog, but I haven't really mentioned all of the cooking I've been doing of late. I love good tasting food, (who doesn't?) but I now realize that many of the meals we are consuming are not that delectable. So between my collection of cookbooks and a subscription to Bon Appetit magazine, I have made some changes for the good.

I have a new Saturday routine. I go to my Weight Watchers meeting, then, if I had a good weigh in, I treat myself to something at Windsor Button. After that I walk from Downtown Crossing to Faneuil Hall. I have recently switched from DD coffee to cappuccino, so I'll grab one and then sit to watch the street performers. Then I cross over to the market.

Haymarket is where I have been doing almost all of my grocery shopping. I have been getting such great deals on produce that I now eat mostly veggies and fruit, almost no meats. Where else can you get 5 Granny Smith apples for a buck? The big ones... Grapes for $1.00 a pound? A pillow sized bag of mesclun greens for $3.00?

I could go on, but instead, I urge you to check it out for yourself! Not only are the bargains there, but you get to observe a slice of life; colorful characters, aggressive but humorous sellers, beautiful arrays of food,  and the crush of hungry chefs at work!

So today I wanted to make Bucatini All' Amatriciana, a dish from the Skinny Italian. I tried making it last week using the best substitutes that I had at home, but I think it might be better using the true Itailian ingredients. 

I went to J. Pace and Sons in the North End.  This shop features foods from Italy, a deli, fresh breads, and a counter where you can order a sandwich. 

I bought pancetta, a relative to our bacon, pecorino romano cheese, and this funny straw shaped pasta called perciatelli. These ingredients are combined with sautéed onions, plum tomatoes, and red pepper. It was a coma inducing lunch! So yummy!

I have also found a number of other great recipes in this book; one of the best is the Tempting Tomato and Oregano Chicken Soup. It is made with thyme and sage, and the flavor is intense and satisfying. If you loved the Jersey Housewives series, you know the character of Theresa; take a peek through this book the next time you go to a bookstore. I'll wager a bet that you decide you can't live without it either! 

1 comment:

Patricia said...

Interesting blog...now you are speaking to my heart...North End Boston and Italian food! My husband is a graduate of MIT and has taken me to Boston three times. We love the atmosphere. The idea of walking to Faneuil Hall for a casual cappuccino makes my blood surge! Lucky you!! Have to look up J. Pace and Sons.