It seems that here in Stuttgart I’m always rescuing sad vegetables from the refrigerator. In fact, while I was preparing the sauce for the tagliatelle, I felt sad myself, which is unusual. Panicking, I wondered if sadness (the word depression is out of the question because it sounds like a medical condition that would frighten my husband, my children and ME into further sadness) was one of the early warning signs of a heart attack! I quickly checked my pulse but it seemed okay to me. No, I guess I was just sad.
In Sens I’m always in freezer trouble but I rarely have aging, sad, feral vegetables in the refrigerator. That’s because I am a 2 minute walk from the farmers’ market that is open on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. I tend to get just what I need until the next market day because I like going to the market, having a coffee on the way and chatting in a language I understand to the stall owners and friends. This wasn’t always true. In the beginning I was very uncomfortable at the farmers’ market. I was shy. I can’t recall a time when I was growing up that my mother shopped in other than supermarkets or as M. Parret says, “les grandes surfaces.” Unless she wanted to ask the butcher about a certain cut, shopping was an activity accomplished in isolation, everything accessible on shelves or in bins, ready to go into her cart, much of the time with styrofoam on the bottom, plastic wrap on the top and a handy little ticket with weight and price. No need to interact with anyone/thing except the shopping cart and the cashier. That’s the way I grew up, that’s the way I shopped for decades. Comfortably. I’m glad that has changed! I adore going to the farmers’ markets in France! It’s an integral part of my social life.
Here in Stuttgart I do not adore the farmers’ market. I don’t speak German, I am unfamiliar with the meat cuts and cheeses, in addition the growing seasons and produce are a bit different and I don’t have any friends to greet. No coffee on the way. That’s the reason why I go seldom and when I do go, I overload on the produce so that I don’t have to go again soon, which doesn’t really work because I just end up with aging produce :)
Intermission: A new couscousiere not from Morocco like Roger’s but pretty and shiny in a sort of low class/nouveau riche kind of way :D I have to go to Morocco!
Anyway. Ugg boot flat on the floor, I accelerated into a down hill spiral of sadness that was fueled by the thought that ugly vegetables make ugly sauces and ugly pictures, AND that my sauce was not looking good. Ooh la! On the rocky bottom now, I decided not to cook the lovely veal chops that I had planned to serve with the pasta and to take the damn picture, go to bed and read a book.
But my pasta sauce was not ugly! In fact, it looked pretty good and had a nice Mediterranean flavor :)
Encouraged, I decided to continue cooking but first, to celebrate, I made myself a salad with tuna, mini romaine, feta and cherry tomatoes. Righty oh!
My Christmas Canon lens 85mm 1.8 is on it’s way!
Tagliatelle with Red Wine and Mushrooms
1/2 red onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
12 fresh mushroom caps, sliced
4 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup red wine
1/4 cup water
1 lb fresh tagliatelle, cooked
Sweat the onion, pepper and garlic in the olive oil until the onion is soft. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms begin to release their juices. Add the tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt and pepper, then continue to cook for about 3 minutes. Add the wine and boil for 2 minutes. Add the water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Toss the sauce with the pasta and serve immediately.
Wine suggestion: Morgon