When it comes to food, the French really know their stuff.
With large grocery stores only visited for household items, fresh produce is best found at the marchés.
We’re currently residing in the 11th arrondissement and are lucky to have access to the markets twice a week, Thursdays and Sundays.
Florian and I decided to treat our hosts to a delicious dinner and thought, where better to shop than to try out our local digs.
The street was lined as far as the eye could see with stalls selling everything from fresh produce, meats, seafood and sweets. Everything looked (and smelt) incredible! The tomatoes were such an intense red, the smell of freshly cooked chicken was intoxicatingly delicious and the seafood looked like it had only been caught moments earlier.
We thought instead of choosing a recipe beforehand, we’d let the ingredients inspire us as we wandered through.
After coming across a fresh pasta stand, I thought I’d play to my strengths and make a fettuccine dish.
First stop saw us buy the freshly made pasta and saucisson with truffle for apéro. We then visited one of the many seafood stalls and purchased some calamari, fish and cockles. Next stop was the fruit and veggie stand where we bought lemon, parsley, garlic and a lettuce for after dinner.
On the walk home, we popped into the local boulangerie to purchase a baguette and the grocery store for a bottle of white wine and we then had everything we needed for the dinner ahead.
We heated a deep fry pan and added olive oil, butter and two cloves of garlic to cook until fragrant. We then added the cockles and calamari to the pan with a handful of chopped parsley and white wine. We brought the pan to a boil and added in the zest and juice of a lemon, a teaspoon of chilli flakes and the fish and popped on the lid for five minutes to infuse all the flavours.
I love cooking with fresh pasta as it cooks in half the time of store-bought and was ready in under five minutes. Once ready, we added the pasta to a platter and poured the seafood sauce over the top.
Topped with another generous squeeze of lemon and parsley and voilá.
Dinner was both quick and easy and was made so much more delicious thanks to the fresh ingredients we were able to buy earlier.
I think I will get used to this way of life and I’m looking forward to seeing what I purchase for dinner this Sunday.