A TAKE-HOME MEAL FOR YOUR SWEETIE
That old saying about the way to a man’s heart being through his stomach could apply even more to a woman’s heart when she doesn’t feel like cooking. So why not pick up a heat-and-eat meal from Prima Pasta that could compete with any upscale Italian restaurant?
You have fabulous choices of ravioli—spinach pasta with feta and olives; herb pasta with Gorgonzola and spinach; and lemon basil pasta filled with lobster are among approximately 20 different kinds.The ribbon pastas come in 10 varieties, such as sweet red pepper, lemon basil, scallion, Parmesan or squid ink.They can be cut into four different widths, from wide pappardelle to skinny angel hair, and they cook in minutes. Grab a pint of sauce (red, white or pink), and you’re good to go. Owner Mike Galvin makes lasagnas, too: he will bake one in your own pan, if you drop it off.
Available at Clement’s Market; Sweet Berry Farm; the seasonal Aquidneck Growers’ Markets and the Prima Pasta store:
796 Aquidneck Ave., Middletown; 401-845-2111; eatprimapasta.com
TRUFFLES WITH A HINT OF SPRING
Michele De Luca-Verley’s 20-year passion for chocolates and pastries was kindled when she lived in New York City during the 1980s and set on fire by the eight months she spent in France, learning first hand what a difference fresh ingredients make to a fine truffle or tart. She returned to her native Rhode Island and established La Maison de Coco, where she turns out hand-dipped, handrolled truffles infused with various teas, as well as tarts or tartlets with organic shells and a choice of milk, dark or white chocolate fillings. She draws on the cream and eggs from neighboring farms and on teas imported directly from Africa, India, China and Japan—the spring/summer truffle selection includes bergamot, jasmine peach blossom, rose, lavender, lemon myrtle and spearmint.
De Luca-Verley makes one non-tea truffle (the Xocoatl) with a chili and peppercorn mix as a nod to chocolate’s Mayan origins. These creations make marvelous hostess gifts, wedding favors or a fabulous ending to a dinner party.
Durfee Tea House: 82 Glen Rd., Portsmouth; 401-293-0524; lamaisondecoco.com
FRESH OFF THE BELT
Once while driving out of Las Cruces, NewMexico, we noticed an all-night bakery with blue tortillas falling off a conveyor belt. The Sanchez brothers, Ivan and Junior, along with father Enrique,may not run their bakery all night but theymake deliciously fresh corn tortillas five days a week at Piaxtla Tortilleria, next to their family’smarket in Providence. Beginning with amixture ofmasa harina (a very fine cornmeal) and water, the brothers form small clumps of dough that are set on a conveyor belt that runs through a 12-foot oven with four burners. They are shaped and baked during this process, and once they cool off they are stacked into 15-ounce packages and distributed to 20 restaurants and markets throughout metro Providence. Retail customers can find them at the SaturdayWinter Farmers’ Market in Pawtucket and at the Sanchez Bros. Market in Providence. A taste of nonfrozen, no-preservative, warm-from-the-oven tortillas could change your life….or at least your taste buds!
802 Atwells Ave., Providence; 401-331-6469
LOCAL SEAFOOD AND ORGANIC SALMON
Frank Nelson inherited his love of seafood from his father, who was a lobsterman out of Stonington and Point Judith.Three years ago, Nelson, who also fished for ten years, opened The Fishery seafood market with his co-owner Lori Lottier. They try to stock the best local oysters (including Watch Hills), scallops and other shellfish. Nelson filets the fresh, full-form fish they receive every morning. They carry certified organic farm-raised salmon from Europe, because there is currently no certification process for organic fish in the United States or Canada. They also prepare appetizers, entrees and chowders for take-out. Other deli items include stuffies, crab cakes, fish cakes, sweet curried scallop cakes (a recipe from Lori’s aunt, JudyWood), a wide selection of local smoked fish and on Friday and Saturday nights, fish and chips. As the only year-round seafood market in Westerly, they urge customers to call ahead for a particular item, especially in the summer, when they might run short.
271 Post Rd.,Westerly; 401-322-7700
A CHINA SHOP TO BE BULLISH ON
…in a bear market.
With prices at 30–60 percent below retail, the Wickford Gourmet Factory Outlet is a place where you can find great gifts for your foodie friends and take home something for your own kitchen too. Whether you’re in the market for matching dinnerware (blue Bormioli plates from Italy stand out) or mix-and-match flatware or elegant stemware (in all sizes and styles), this is the place for you. Unusual linens—aprons, placemats, napkins, flour-sack dishtowels—and other accessories are sprinkled throughout the shop.There are chopping boards and sets of knives; platters, bowls and trays; a range of teapots; a choice selection of pots and pans. A corner full of utensils includes high-heat spatulas, red plastic lobster claws designed to crack real lobster claws, endless variations on pepper mills and old-fashioned glass salt shakers, stainless steel or bendable silicone measuring cups and even a soft-skin tomato peeler.
656 Ten Rod Rd., North Kingstown; 401-294-8430