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Spaghetti, fettuccine and bucatini in Beverly Hills

Domenico’s Foods' fresh pasta forms the basis of a delicious and easy Sunday supper.

beverly hills pasta

Sunday is the day to celebrate Italian pasta in my kitchen. But when I walk through the market to gather ingredients, I am drawn in two different directions. One side of me enjoys finding all the items necessary to make my own fresh and healthy pasta, while the other side runs to the prepared food stalls. Today I had every intention of starting from scratch, but then I stopped at the Domenico's Foods stand. Sometimes it's just best to let someone else do all the work.

The first items I saw were the vendor's homemade pastas: spaghetti, fettuccine and bucatini (thick spaghetti-like noodles with a hole running through the center). Bucatini is often used in buttery autumn sauces that contain bacon, vegetables and eggs.

"Make sure you just cook the noodles for a few minutes," said theater actress Jennifer Lamar, a frequent shopper at Domenico's Foods. "Just put them in the boiling water and take them out. This is fresh pasta and it's very easy to overcook it."

Lamar and her friend, fellow actor Chase Bandy, are big fans of Domenico's Foods. Together the three of us huddled together and sampled different goods from the shop. They ended up buying the bucatini, a walnut pesto and stuffed red peppers that Bandy insisted I try.

"They're not too spicy," Bandy said. "I treat them like they're meatballs and just plop a few into the pasta after it's tossed."

Dominick (aka Dom) DiBartolomeo created Domenico's Foods as a side business in 1996 while working at The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills. DiBartolomeo still works at the famed gourmet cheese shop—all while bringing Domenico's Foods to nearly a dozen local farmers markets. In Bon Appétit magazine, his food is described as "addictive."

The son of a first generation Sicilian mother and second generation Italian father, DiBartolomeo has created a line of delicious Italian products including pesto, tapenades and pastas sauces that can used as marinades for fish, chicken or beef. DiBartolomeo's signature creation is his pomodori secchi, sun-dried tomatoes that he marinates in extra virgin olive oil.

By the time I left Domenico's Foods, I had purchased bucatini, stuffed peppers and sun-dried tomato pesto. Now I was on the lookout for some fresh vegetables to toss into it my pasta dish. I decided to stop by South Coast Farmers' Cooperative.

"This week I have giant banana squash and daikon," said Ubaldo Tlatoa, a farmer with the cooperative.

It seems everything has grown overnight because of last week's rain. The giant squash and daikon radish that Tlatoa was selling could feed an army, but they're not necessarily the best addition to my dish. Instead, I bought a couple of small, green zucchini to sauté and add to the pasta.

Since bucatini is often used for noodle dishes that contain eggs, I stopped by Healthy Family Farms and got a fresh dozen. Adding hard-boiled slices into a pesto adds a lot of texture and protein.

By the end of my market trip, I decided to make a salad to go with my pasta. I picked up my favorite wild arugula greens from Kenter Canyon and the last of the fragrant cherry tomatoes at McGrath Family Farms. I added slices of a Topa Topa avocado from Westfield Farms and tossed it all with a simple balsamic vinaigrette.

Sunday dinner doesn't get any easier than that.

Next Week at the Market: Boo! It's Halloween and the market is celebrating. Shoppers who come to the market in costume and stop by the information booth will receive a free healthy treat! Live entertainment will be provided by Ryan Dart in the café area of the market.

The Beverly Hills Farmers' Market is held every Sunday (rain or shine) from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the 9300 block of Civic Center Drive. There are more than 60 farmers and vendors offering a wide variety of organic and conventional California-grown seasonal fruits and vegetables. There are also prepared food kitchens with menu items to take out or enjoy at the small on-site cafe.

Parking is available on the neighboring side streets or in the garage attached to the City Hall and library.

Source: www.beverlyhills.patch.com

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