Cooking Local: Eduardo's Pasta

San Francisco

So far, even in this ramshackle economy, I'm still trying to shop as locally and organically as possible. But if I have to choose between the two, I usually go for local over organic. It just makes sense on a number of levels to lower the number of miles my food has to travel to get to my table.

I love pasta and even before locavorism was popular, I've enjoyed and appreciated Eduardo's, a pasta made here in San Francisco. It's not the cheapest pasta on the shelf, but it's one of the best. And it's completely worth the few extra pennies per serving.

Eduardo's cooks up beautifully, with a nice chewy texture and wonderful flavor.

Eduardo's comes in a variety of fun shapes and flavors. My favorite long noodles have always been their Paglia e Fieno or Straw & Hay where half the noodles are spinach and half are egg. They're swirled into pretty little nests and tucked into a clear cellophane bag with the distinctive Eduardo's logo stamped on the front.

Another favorite are their sweet tiny pasta shapes. They make teensy little egg pasta rings, stars and sea shells. And they make alphabet pasta, which is just too much fun. I once helped support a friend who was doing a silent retreat by bringing her soup every day for lunch. On her last day, I gleefully brought her a bowl of vegetable alphabet soup.

My current favorite is Eduardo's line of whole wheat pasta. Not at all mushy or flavorless, this pasta is robust and full of chewy texture. I love serving it with shaved brussels sprouts which have been sauteed with garlic in a good sturdy olive oil. Sometimes I add a few chili pepper flakes and I always top with a few grates of a good hard aged cheese.

If you don't live in the Bay Area, I hope you can find a good local pasta maker in your area, preferably one that's run by several generations of an Italian family like Eduardo's is. If you do have the pleasure of living in the Bay Area, then look for Eduaro's pasta at Rainbow Groceries, Whole Foods, Andronico's and even Safeway.

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Dana Velden is a freelance food writer. She lives, eats, plays, and gets lost in Oakland, California where she is in the throes of raising her first tomato plant.

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