For self-proclaimed foodies, it’s food 101 to know about Murray’s delicious choices of domestic and international cheese. However, there are other gems at this specialty shop. We’ve indulged in the Date Brownie, but there is another treat here that won’t blow all your calories.
Head to the back of the store and notice the boxes of pasta. There’s orzo, trofie, orecchiette, and penne to name a few. At $5.99 a pound, they are a little more pricey than your average box of Barilla, but the Rustichella D’Abruzzo are worth the extra dough.
On a recent taste test, we sampled the al ceppo and the whole wheat penne rigate and found both to be ambrosial. Their textures after boiling them in salted water became a dichotomy between tenderness and sturdiness. The tubes were both supple and firm upon first bites—a hard quality to achieve, as most pasta is either soft and flimsy or dry and hard.
The trick is the process. This pasta is made using traditional Italian bronze dies and given two full days to dry on its own. This slow dry system enhances the pastas’ dense flavors.
Ask any of the cheesemongers and they will help you match a cheese to your desired pasta, explaining why certain shapes take to particular cheeses so nicely.
Kids will have fun trying to stick their fork prongs into the tightly rolled sheets of pasta al ceppo. Originally made from wrapping the dough around needles, the shape pairs lovely with green beans and shaved parmesan.
The whole wheat penne rigate was a skeptical choice—whole wheat can often kill the mellow, comforting vibe of a steaming bowl of pasta. Not to mention, the tubes of penne were an unappealing gray-ish color in their uncooked state. However, I added sautéed slivers of avocado and arrived at the ideal meal.
Rustichella sells a line of pre-packaged pastas; however, Murray’s is distinct for selling the varieties by the pound.