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Sunset – view to the northwest – from a few nights ago

 

Anyway, I say guest chef very tongue in cheek. But I reckon it was sort of a coup to have probably been the only gringo in the Mercado’s 100 year history to have actually operated a cutting board and manned the burners; albeit if for only simple lunch. My friend, Maria who operates a Fonda inside the Mercado has opened up to the idea of maybe offering some different food on her menu and liked the idea of some simple Italian style food like a pasta dish.

So yesterday, I turned up at her place loaded with all the ingredients to make a basic rosemary tomato sauce: a couple of sprigs of rosemary from my terrace, serrano chilies, onion, garlic, and a kilo of fresh tomatoes. I also brought a package of linguine, a chicken breast, and a medium size piece of chorizo. I wanted the meat to show Maria that there could be some easy to prepare variations to add to a tomato sauce pasta dish and besides, chicken and any kind of spicy sausage cooks up pretty well together.

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A cloud – off to the southeast – just prior to last night’s sunset.

Making lunch was an easy affair. I took a stock pot, added a little vegetable oil, then put in some diced onion, garlic and chilies. After the onion became translucent I added the diced tomatoes and as it cooked down added a few pinches of salt and periodically worked on the sauce with a potato style masher. In a skillet we added the cubed breast to the already simmering chorizo and let it cook while we got a pan of boiling water going for the pasta.

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Last night’s sunset with a view to the north.

 

We put some of the chicken/chorizo mix over 4 plates of pasta, then ladled on the sauce, topping it with some of the good crumbled local farmers cheese. Mario, the man who cooks goat meat next door to Maria had a plate. And one of the ancient old-timers happened to have been ambling by and ended up also getting a free lunch.  And Maria seemed happy which was the important thing. Even though I had brought everything I still paid her 30 pesos for her standard plate lunch, which she protested, but I figured with the extra work she had to do cleaning everything up, the gas we burned; all said it was a good value.

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Sunrise – view to the east – a few mornings ago

 

 

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