When we travel, we are, as a rule, incapable of arriving at any of the great street markets when they are open. I really can’t explain it. I just know that we always arrive as the vendors are sweeping away the leaves from the pavement and packing up for the day. So, when I read that the town of Pistoia deserves much more attention than it usually gets by visitors to Tuscany and that it has an exceptional market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, I dreamed of going but didn’t exactly commit my hopes to making it happen. Perhaps that was the key. Last Wednesday, when the Eastern coast of the U.S. was focused on recovering from a snow storm, I found myself walking the streets of Pistoia, armed with a shopping bag and a handful of Euros!
For me, European markets are an art form that can rival any oil painting. The combination of beautiful ingredients, flowers, and people who just radiate character makes them the perfect way to spend a morning.
We purchased fresh tortellini stuffed with pork, asparagus, mandarin oranges from Sicily, raspberries, currants, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. That night, we had the tortellini dressed with a mushroom tapenade and the asparagus roasted with sea salt and olive oil.