Mozza Moments: Spring Peas & Yogurt Cheese, Caramel Copetta with Marshmallow Sauce


If California falls into the ocean some day, and I find myself living back in New York, you might think that Pizzeria Mozza would be the last place I’d miss with Franny’s and Roberta’s and all the other individual pie places (Motorino, Co., etc.) that would fill that gap. You’d be wrong, though, because Mozza is a lot more than a pizza restaurant. As Amateur Gourmet reader (and Raoul in “Phantom of the Opera”) Kyle Barisich said to me recently on Twitter, “I really think Mozza is LA’s finest restaurant.” Can’t say I disagree.

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Penne with Ramp Pesto, Asparagus & Peas


I’ll admit, I get lazy when it comes to eating seasonally. It’s easier to pop into the grocery store across the street, where lemons, onions and garlic look the same the whole year round, than it is to march all the way up to the Union Square Greenmarket on a windy or rainy spring day. On a Saturday, however, the rules change: I forcibly remove myself from the world wide web and make a point, especially in spring, summer and fall, to go pay a visit to the Union Square farmers. Sometimes I come home with just honey or maple syrup; other times I buy flowers (the lilacs I bought a few weeks ago made it into my newsletter.) This past Saturday I came home with ramps (despite my ramp-ambivalence) and asparagus and a few hours later I whipped up a dinner (the one you see above) that I declared to be one of the best meals I’ve ever made. And I give 100% of the credit to what I found at the farmer’s market.

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Fresh Peas with Mint


Anyone who watched last season of “Top Chef” will remember Carla’s pea dish. She wowed the judges with her side of fresh peas, purchased from Whole Foods, cooked–according to this blog (the Bravo recipe site is too hard to navigate)–with tarragon, butter and lemon thyme.

Inspired by Carla (who, by personality alone, should’ve won the show), I purchased fresh peas the other day at the farmer’s market. But would my peas have secured me a place in the Top Chef Finale? I’m not quite sure.

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