A Favorite Pasta for Summer from Provence!

For many years my husband and I traveled to Provence during the summer to spend several weeks in the south of France. We were enchanted by the landscapes– fields of purple lavender, groves of old, snarled olive trees, and exquisite beaches bordering the Mediterranean. It was, however, the simple, yet vibrant food that inspired us to return. 

Although we ate in a handful of Michelin starred restaurants, I liked the unpretentious, out-of- the-way bistros and cafés best. One of our favorites was La Merenda, a tiny place in the center of Nice, where there was no phone, and you could only reserve in person. Their signature dish was “pâtes au pistou,” prepared with house made spinach fettuccine tossed with pistou, Provence’s version of pesto. Over the years, I have tried to recreate the dish, but without much success.

Recently, I found several on-line articles in which the current owner, Continue reading

A Savory Tart Direct from Paris

Tomato and Chevre Tart 2During our stay in Paris this summer, I made many trips to Quatrehomme, a celebrated cheese shop right around the corner from our rented apartment. After choosing my cheeses, I’d pause at the small counter of take out foods where savory tarts and a good selection of hams and sausages are displayed. One day I bought a slice of a beautiful tomato and goat cheese tart and took it home for lunch. One bite and I was smitten.

The tart with its golden puff pastry crust and its beautiful baked filling of alternating slices of tomatoes, zucchini, and goat cheese was delectable—practically addictive. I bought many more slices over the next few weeks, each time prodding the sales staff to tell me how this tart was made. Finally, one of the young vendeuses shared the recipe explaining that there was a layer of ‘pistou” (Provencal pesto) beneath the cheese and vegetables. Continue reading