E. has a knack for finding culinary treasures around here. I’m of the old fashioned school of ‘find a good cafe and stick with it’ food. Maybe this is a midwestern aesthetic, the comfort afforded by food or a place you know is good. It’s just a given. E. is willing to go a few extra steps to find even more delicious food. He did well with this find–artisanal pasta made by hand five blocks away from our apartment.
Italian influence can be seen everywhere, not only in the cadence of locals’ voices, but also in the attention given to food preparation–particularly with pasta and ice cream. There is also a European “no rush” approach to eating. Where Americans are rushed out the door upon finishing their meals, you practically have to hunt down the waiter for your check in Buenos Aires. You can only get your check after you hold up your hand and request it. It’s refreshing and exhausting at the same time. But I have learned to savor my food a little longer and have an espresso after my meal. In the midst of the traffic and pollution, there are things zen in this place.
The pasta shop was tiny. There were no tables for customers–nothing prepared–only a refrigerator to hold boxes of pasta and pre-prepared pesto cups. This was no nonsense pasta preparation. A woman was slicing small bits of parmesean at a long slab of a table when we came in. She sprinkled flour on the surface as an afterthought. She looked up and smiled.
The owner recommended the stuffed ravioli with green vegetables and suggested pairing it with green pesto. When we opened the box at home, I could hardly contain the urge to bite into one of the tender and rotund ravioli bellies. They had been prepared so tenderly, like wee little children all tucked into bed. The ravioli were sprinkled with parmesean at the last minute, as if to say goodbye.
I had high expectations, but after E. prepared the pasta at home, I nearly fell off my chair. The greens had been prepared with butter and combined with what seemed like roquefort cheese. In my experience, roquefort is a softer cheese with a milder blue cheese flavor–distinct but not overpowering. The ravioli mixture was so rich and savory–just magnificent. The pesto was the finishing touch, but pasta like this can stand up on its own. We mopped the pesto with day-old French bread.
This product was probably made the same day.