Figs, Pigs and a Taste of Italy

10 Dec

We recently got a new bakery/sandwich shop on Highland Ave in Somerville called 3 Little Figs. While running errands the other day I stopped in for lunch and a coffee. The space is small, but comfortable and I really liked the decor. The first thing you see when walking in is a big glass case of baked goods. I know I came in for lunch, but man did these pastries look delicious. I ordered a “Market” sandwich and a Cafe Americano. At the last minute I added 2 apple cider donut muffins to go (one for me and one for Jason). The Market sandwich is prosciutto, goat cheese, arugula, and fig jam on Iggy’s francese bread. It was served with a few slices of seasoned cucumber. It’s literally all my favorite things in one sandwich – seriously!

My sandwich and coffee - absolutely delicious.

The coffee, from Gimme! Coffee , was also very good. After reading up on 3 Little Figs on their website I learned they source most of their food locally, including their tea, honey, milk, yogurt and produce – we all should do this. How was the apple cidar donut muffin you ask? Amazing! It didn’t last the car ride home! Jason’s a big fan of apple cidar donuts so I knew he would like it. I wish I got a picture of it, but I totally spaced in my sugar coma. I would definitely recommend this place to my Somerville friends if you’re looking for a good breakfast or lunch spot.

In my travels this same day, I stopped at Savenor’s, a butcher shop and local grocer near me in Cambridge. I went in not knowing what we were going to have for dinner but knew I’d find some inspiration there. I definitely did! They had just smoked some wild boar bacon and were handing out samples when I walked in. The smell and taste was amazing – I got a pound of it and decided I needed to make a ragu with it. Savenor’s describes this bacon as this:

Made from free-range wild boar, this is a great alternative to traditional pork bacon. Leaner and more flavorful, wild boar bacon is a wonderful change of pace.

I also bought an onion, some mushrooms and other ingredients for dinner later in the week. I started my Wild Boar and Mushroom Ragu by sweating rough chopped onions and mushrooms in olive oil. Then added tomato paste and let that cook with the vegetables. Once I had good color on the vegetables, I deglazed the pan with some veal stock and added fresh herbs, some warm spices and the wild boar bacon. The smell in the house was amazing. Rick was waiting for me to drop some boar on the floor the whole time!

Here's the veg and boar simmering in veal stock!

I let the veal stock reduce a bit before adding in my tomatoes. Once the tomatoes went in, I brought the ragu up to a simmer and then let it go real low for about 2 hours.

The ragu had simmered for about 2 hours at this point. The flavors were really great.

About fifteen minutes before we were ready to eat I put water on for pasta and made ziti. I thought this ragu needed a nice hearty macaroni to go with it. There was so much wild boar on the menus in Italy – this dish definitely reminded me of something we ate on our honeymoon (long sigh…). Jason and I enjoyed our dinner with glasses of Brunello di Montalcino from Abbadia Ardenga in Italy. We bought several bottles from this vineyard when we visited them in Italy.

Me in the Abbadia Ardenga tasting room surrounded by wine, meat and cheese. It couldn't have been more perfect.

The wine went perfectly with the pasta. Of course we added a healthy does of Parmigiano Reggiano to this dish after I took the picture! What a great meal!

The finished Wild Boar and Mushroom Ragu dish! Can't wait to have more wild boar.

After a fun day with my sister and nephew today, Jason and I are headed to our first holiday party of the season tonight. I can’t wait to see our friends and start the festivities. Enjoy the weekend everyone!


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