Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
A First Look at Ariccia Italian Market
Located on Girard Street in La Jolla, Ariccia Italian Market had only been open for one day when I stopped in on Saturday. Okay, so I'm a little impatient.
There’s a whole refrigerator full of duck products: buckets of duck fat, big lobes of duck foie gras, duck confit, and duck salumi with truffles. Other cases display more typical Italian deli fare, prosciutto de Parma, pancetta, speck, buratta, and the specialty of the house, porchetta, that lovely traditional Italian dish of deboned pig, rolled with herbs, spitted and roasted. Spices, herbs, sauces, honeys (dandelion sounds interesting) and Italian wines line the shelves. There are fresh pastas in regular and out of the ordinary flavors. Beer and pretzel spaghetti was the flavored offering at $12.00 per pound.
The friendly staff provided samples of everything I showed interest in, coffee (strong and rich), porchetta (crisp herbal coating and smooth, silky marbled meat), and parmesan (nutty, sharp). Unfortunately, the porchetta was not available except as panini ($12). Co-owners Robert Pascucci and Stephanie Savchuk stated that in the future, they may make it available by the pound as well. I really hope that happens.
I went home with a round of smoked goat ricotta ($12.00/8 oz.) and a pound of fresh bucatini ($6.50). The cheese was very smoky around the rind, and creamy rich in the center. I served it with a dip of fruity olive oil and cracked black pepper on toasted slices of rustic bread.
The bucatini just needed a few minutes in salted, boiling water. Dressed with a simple puttanesca and a shower of shaved grand padano, it was thick and nicely chewy. Good fresh pasta is always a delight, and this easy, quick dinner was a perfect beginning to a cozy Saturday night at home.
I’m looking forward to a return visit to try one of their porchetta panini. Stay tuned.
7441 A Girard Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037
Hours: Tuesday - Sunday - 7:00 am - 6:00 pm
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