If you have had a chance in the last month to make it out to the Crescent City Farmers’ Market on Tuesdays or the American Can Co. Market on Thursday then you might have run across Dan Esses’ handmade pastas and sauces. Esses Foods uses local farms seasonal produce to compliment the fresh handmade pastas which include: tortellini, ravioli, linguini, gnocchi, and paperdelle noodles.  The Hollygrove Market and Farm Staff frequents the CCFM and occasionally the Mid-City American Can Co. Market to check out all that is happening in food as well as researching the vendors with their foodstuffs for possible sale on the Hollygrove Market & Farm shelves once the store is opened.

This past Tuesday we had a chance to try a pasta and a sauce from the offerings of Dan’s tent at the CCFM: Swiss Chard & Goat Cheese Ravioli & Cauliflower Garlic Cream Sauce.

The ravioli and the sauce were served for dinner that night.

I haven’t thought about anything else since. The cauliflower cream sauce is simple with cauliflower, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, cream, maybe a bit of butter. It was wonderful: you could taste cauliflower– it stood up next to what might be expected (some think cauliflower has ‘no taste’) to taste like a plain Jane Alfredo, we served it with extra crispy bacon crumbles on top. The ravioli stood up nicely as well. The sharp almost acidic bite (lemon) of the goat cheese and chard came barreling through every chew.

If you want to find out more about Dan Esses & what Esses Foods is up to (and you should) look to our links and sign up for his newsletter on the site. Also in case you missed it, NOLA.com has an article about Dan, his background (professional & a bit personal) and a video clip available.

If you aren’t sure about fresh pasta or how to cook it click here. Remember because it’s fresh means a much shorter cooking time 2-5 minutes depending on pasta.

Bon Appetit