We have mentioned before that we have a pretty awesome Farmer’s Market up here in the frozen tundra. However its not always frozen and when it gets warm we make the most of it. This year along with vegetables and fruits we decided to visit and support some of the other vendors of meat, eggs, cheese and…..pasta. I have to say Curt has been buying meat for the last couple of years but this year it seems more vendors have popped up and we have purchased chicken, goat, and even have a pork belly on order.
But pasta is a new addition to our market. About 3 weeks ago the vendor’s booth caught our eye. The pasta was in a rainbow of colors and on closer inspection, an equal rainbow of flavors. The types available that day were Lasagna, Trenette and Capellini. The flavors ranged from roasted red pepper to curry-garlic with lots of flavors in between. Even if I didn’t want to eat it (which I definitely did), I wanted to own it because it looked so beautiful. Dalla Terra is not from Green Bay but comes up to our market from nearby Appleton, about 40 minutes away, and we are glad they make the trip.
They make both a fresh and dried pasta, although they only bring the dried to our farmer’s market. They make their pasta daily and it sells so quickly that the dried pasta is never older than two weeks, unlike the boxes on your supermarket shelves. On that particular day we ended up choosing a roasted red pepper Lasagna. We asked the gal selling the pasta if these Lasagna sheets would hold up to cooking in boiling water, like pasta, rather than used in a layered Lasagna, like they were intended. She wasn’t sure but we decided to try.
The sauce starts by frying a mild or hot Italian sausage in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until cooked through and well browned. Set aside and reserve the oil in the pan to saute a small onion, sliced, and a large clove of garlic, minced, until they are soft. Roughly chop the sausage into bite-sized pieces and add back to the pan along with 1/2 C. roasted tomatoes (or substitute dried tomatoes that have been soaked in warm water for 30 minutes) roughly chopped. Add salt and pepper to taste.
We broke each of the approximately 5″ x 7″ sheets roughly into quarters and cooked them like any other pasta. Once al dente the pasta is added to the pan with the sauce and tossed to mix. Serve with a healthy sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. We ended up with a kind of deconstructed Ravioli. If we had left the lasagna sheets whole we would have ended up with something more like Fazzoletti (pasta “handkerchiefs”)
The next week we bought some of Dalla Terra’s sweet potato Trenette.
Trenette is like a linguini. Curt cooked the pasta and drained it under cold water to cool it then combined it with a hot (spicey) peanut sauce and shrimp for a cold Japanese soba-style noodle dish. I have to say flavored pasta is fun and really adds a new dimension to the dish. I wonder what we will get next time?