Thursday, June 14, 2012

Saturday Morning Spesa - Napoli with Chef Gianluca D'Agostino

Chef Gianluca D'Agostino
It's starting to get hot in the city.  And in Naples, on the weekends, most people head for the beach.  I, instead headed for the streets.  The streets of Napoli for some Saturday morning shopping.  Not wanting to go alon, I called up Chef Gianluca D'Agostino of Veritas Restaurant and asked him if he didn't mind if I tagged along while he maily his rounds through downtown Naples.
0930 appointment at the Montesanto train station for our giro through the Pignasecca.  

First stop fish market. I could easily call in my orders, Gianluca tells me, but I like to come by several times a week to see what is new. It's also a great way to nurture friendships with his suppliers who have also become friends.   Gianluca pointed out specialties such as swordfish and red tuna.  Shared with me suggestions, tips, recipe ideas.  For example, the tuna's stomach contains more fat, in fact it look almost like a steak.  That would be perfect for grilling.  

  Alici ...tiny sardines from the Pozzuoli Bay.  Shiny, with blue stripes.  His choice when he chooses sardines, much closer to home.   


Octopus...

Swordfish...the chef ordered 2 kilos...

Sooo much seafood.  I got caught up in the spirit that morning.  Shellfish, shrimp, zuppa di pesce, squid...I could of stayed there all morning with Gianluca, but it was time to move on.  Fresh fruit and vegetables...ready?  Lets's go...

We didn't need to go far, just around the corner.  Stands full of beautiful frutta e verdura, fruit and vegetables in season.  Once again, recipe suggestions from the chef.  For example, he pointed out that the enormously large zucchini would be perfect for zucchini parmeggiano while the smaller ones were better for frying and marinating...



Porcini mushrooms...the first of the season...


Fresh cherries...6 different varieties.  And mulberry...you don't see that much, it is a speciality...



Gianluca asked me if I had more time, there was one more stop he wanted to make.  We walked down the alley, crossed Via Toledo and turned a corner.  Gianluca wanted to take me to Timpani e Tempura owned by his friend Antonio Tubelli.

D'Agostino with Tubelli
Tubelli's negozio was stocked full of quality prodotti tipici from Campania and the rest of Italy.  Pastas, cheeses, wines, etc etc.  I also learned that you can even get a bite to eat.  The place seats 8 for lunch and dinner, but pasta and timpani are available to take out.  And Thursday is fried food night!  I've got to come back...





It was close to noon, time to say goodbye to the chef, goodbye to my Saturday morning .Just enough time for Un ciao, e ci vediamo presto...Gianluca had to get to the restaurant, I needed to hop on the metropolitana...

See you next Saturday!


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