In The Marais

I went into the Italian store next to our apartment building the other day to buy some veal picatta. We were having company for dinner and I wanted something simple and am never able to keep that crispy coating on my veal when I try to cook it. So, I told the man behind the counter in my bad French that I wanted the veal, pointing to it, three in fact. He laughed and said, “You mean les escalopes du veau. It will be really big if I give you a veau.” Well, he was right. I didn’t want a whole calf. I guess it sounded strange to him while it made sense to me. The veal was good and the spaghetti that I made as a side dish was perfect. I tried out the recipe everyone had been writing about created by the Italian cook and book author (who recently died), Marcella Hazan which has only three ingredients: one 28 ounce can of Italian tomatoes, five tablespoons of butter and a peeled onion cut in half. Simmer for 45 minutes, removed the onion, smush the tomatoes and you are done. It was very good but what made the spaghetti especially good was the fact that I stood by the stove as the pasta cooked and tested it every minute are so until it was perfectly al dente. Earlier, when I told Maurice I was making spaghetti he said, “Make sure it isn’t soupy”. This is the first I had heard that my pasty is soupy. I like a lot of sauce myself. But this pasta was just lightly coated with the sauce with little chunks of tomato here and there and no sauce spreading over the plate.
None of this has a thing to do with the Marais. I just thought I would tell my little story. The next day I did walk through this area of Paris on a bright sunny day and enjoyed it.

This looks like an alley but it was once actually a street.

Two old buildings from the 14th century, once covered with plaster.

There is a store called Israel that sells all sorts of things, this preserved fruit among them.

They also sell these beans and spices. I would have taken more photos but was told they weren’t allowed.

5 thoughts to “In The Marais”

  1. I’m glad that your dinner party went well, it’s always slightly stressful cooking for other people. I like your photos- I don’t know why shops don’t like photos- people generally take photos of what they like, and then say nice things about them. Everyone likes a colourful market. Those old houses are amazing.

  2. If I had a store like that next door to me, I would be buying dinners there a few times a week!

    I make that sauce and it is amazing. The butter just makes it so rich.


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