Friday, April 11, 2014

This Week at the South Durham Farmers' Market

This  Week at the Market
  • Saturday 8 am-Noon Greenwood Commons 54110 Hwy 55 Durham, NC 27713
  • Community Cooking Club: Melina's Pasta with Pesto
  • Food Truck: Le Farm Bakery
  • In Season: floral arrangements, green onions, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, bok choy, potatoes, lettuce.
Local Pasta Made Fresh

Topped with fresh tomato sauce or simply drizzled with olive oil, a bowl of fresh pasta never fails to satiate and soothe. And, at the South Durham Farmers’ Market, we have an assortment of delicious ravioli and fettuccine made locally by Melina’s Fresh Pasta with farm fresh ingredients.

After learning to make handmade pastas in Bologna in 2010, Carmella Alvaro was inspired to start a business in Durham that would share the rich culinary experience of fresh, traditional pasta. So, she started Melina’s Fresh Pasta with just a small food processor and some rolling pins. She now sells at six farmers’ markets in the area, and her business has expanded into her remodeled garage to accommodate a giant 60-quart mixer, a machine for cut pasta, a walk-in freezer and, most recently, a pasta extruder for making fusilli and other decorative shapes.

She inherited her love of cooking and good food from her parents, who immigrated to the United States from Calabria (the toe of Italy’s boot) and settled in Syracuse, New York. They grew a garden of their favorite vegetables from Italy, foraged for mushrooms and cured their own sausage from local meat. On the way to soccer practice as a child, Carmella remembers her father collecting dandelion greens for dinner. They are immensely supportive of their daughter’s venture. Last year, her mother planted a large crop of basil, so that Carmella would have enough to last through the winter.

From her parents, she has developed a deep appreciation for the importance of quality ingredients, and she constantly seeks out local sources for her fillings and sauces. (You should definitely try her local beet and goat cheese ravioli!)

Coincidentally, Carmella was originally interested in bread making and took a class at the local La Farm Bakery, whose food truck will be joining us tomorrow.  She ultimately decided that baking bread was too precise of a practice. She prefers experimenting with her recipes and finds pasta a more forgiving medium.

Join us this weekend and try her ravioli creations yourself! The Community Cooking Club will be serving samples with their own zesty pesto variations.

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