Two little Piggies went to Market

by jerseygirl on September 25, 2008 · 50 comments

Yes, those piggies were my husband and I. The other day we were lucky enough to go on an adult field trip to the Philadelphia Italian Market. I say adult because there were no kiddies in tow so we could take our time and look at meat, cheese and produce as long as we liked. The Italian market is the oldest and largest working outdoor market in the US. I should have taken more pictures of the outdoor market but will do that next time I am there. It is predominantly Italian but in recent years has taken on a Hispanic and Asian presence. Not only can you get Italian ingredients but many other international delicacies as well.

We bought some fresh produce at one of the outdoor produce markets. Next it was time to go to one of the spice shops that the market has. We went to Spice Corner and I purchased some wonderful dried herbs. My favorite was some Greek seasoning which was only $1.59 for 2 ounces. The seasoning was so fresh and fragrant.

Next we moved on to my favorite store in the market. DiBruno Bros has been around since 1939. It started as a small cheese shop but now is a gourmet market with two Philadelphia locations. I just love, love, love going here. They have the best cheese, olives and Italian meats. Did I say I love the cheese? They also ship to anywhere in the US so you can browse their website and place an order. We purchased some Locatelli Pecorino Romano and some fresh ricotta.

Here is a picture of their cured meats. How about paying $129.99 for a pound of ham? I am sure it is fantastic but we went with the $27.99 Jamon Serrano Spanish prosciutto. It was delicious and melted in your mouth. The nice people at DiBruno Bros even gave us a taste.

I took my fresh ingredients home and thought about what to make. I decided to go with pasta since I had a box of fresh spaghetti sitting in the fridge. The cheeses and ham would be great on the pasta and I would pick fresh herbs right out of my garden. The pasta was a meal that just shouted freshness.

It doesn’t end with our trip to the market. When I called us piggies, I meant it. The hubby and I decided to have a cheese steak chow down. Since we were near two of the most famous cheese steak places in Philly, we purchased one from each and decided which we liked best. Come back to hear all about it!

Herbed Spaghetti with Peas, Ricotta and Crispy Serrano Ham

1 lb fresh spaghetti
2 Tbs olive oil
4 oz thinly sliced Serrano ham, chopped
4 cloves crushed garlic
1o oz package frozen peas
1/4 cup white wine
2 TBS fresh chopped basil
2 TBS fresh chopped parsley
8 oz fresh ricotta
1 to 2 cups reserved pasta water
lots of grated Romano cheese
salt and red pepper to taste

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook spaghetti until ala dente. In a large fry pan, heat oil on medium and cook ham until crisp, about 7 minutes. Set aside on paper towels. Saute garlic for 2 minutes and then add peas and white wine to pan. Cook until no longer frozen. Add parsley, basil and ricotta cheese. Add one cup of pasta water and stir constantly until sauce is creamy. In a large bowl, toss together spaghetti , creamy sauce, crispy ham and a large handful of Romano cheese. Add extra pasta water to thin out if necessary. Serve with more Romano cheese and season with salt and red pepper to taste.

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria September 25, 2008 at 11:42 am

What a fun field trip!! That market looks amazing! Lots of fun finds and the dinner you made looks awesome!


Bridgett September 25, 2008 at 11:48 am

I could easily go crazy in a place like that! Looks and sounds like you had a great time.


Pam September 25, 2008 at 12:26 pm

Lisa, my mouth keeps watering every time I come to your site. This dish looks amazing!


Patsyk September 25, 2008 at 12:38 pm

I’ve got to get to Philly to see that market for myself! It sounds absolutely wonderful!

Your pasta dish is the perfect way to use those fresh ingredients.


Clumbsy Cookie September 25, 2008 at 1:13 pm

I miss that place! And don’t even get me started on the cheesestakes! Great ham!


Maria September 25, 2008 at 1:27 pm

What delicious pics of food!! Lisa I can definitely vouch for the Spainsh Serrano Ham, isn’t it gorgeous? Being daughter to spanish parents I have eaten this all my life and enjoyed plenty of serrano ham filled crusty baquettes!!

Your pasta dish looks delish.



Liza September 25, 2008 at 1:57 pm

Thanks for the foodbuzz request – lovely blog you have. And I LOVE your CEO of family of 4 description….


Janine September 25, 2008 at 2:25 pm

I really need to go there. Love the pasta dish:) We do seem to be on the same posting wavelength:)


Peter M September 25, 2008 at 2:58 pm

Sounds like a great store…I get lost in these places.

Jamon in the pasta…sounds delish.


Paula September 25, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Oh. My. Lord!!! That does it. I’m moving to Pennsylvania. What a market!! And your pasta looks absolutely wonderful. I’m going to go start packing now!


Mamaliga September 25, 2008 at 4:22 pm

Now, that was a fun trip!!

Love how that prosciutto looks like there!

Glad to be foodbuzz buddies!!!

Gabi @


Lucy September 25, 2008 at 4:28 pm

WOW… all those goodies have me wanting to make a trip to Arthur Avenue in Bronx, which isn’t too far for me to get to… ha, maybe over the weekend.. just love those markets!!


Debbie September 25, 2008 at 4:33 pm

Sounds different with the ricotta….looks delicious!


Debra September 25, 2008 at 4:37 pm

That place looks like an awesome place to visit. Now I am wanting some olives…..


Beth September 25, 2008 at 4:50 pm

I want to visit!! The pasta dish looks fantastic


Stacey Snacks September 25, 2008 at 5:11 pm

I do serrano ham and onions on a pizza, it is fabulous.
Like being in Spain!
Love all of your purchases from the Italian market in Philly.
I love Philly, it’s such a nice city, so many different neighborhoods.


That Girl September 25, 2008 at 5:14 pm

I love specialized shops. It always makes me feel like I’m getting something fresher.


Sharon September 25, 2008 at 6:01 pm

What a lovely market! Delicious looking pasta as well.


~Priscilla~ September 25, 2008 at 8:20 pm

looks like a yummy place to go to. what an expensive ham!!:)


Mary Ann September 25, 2008 at 9:51 pm

So jealous! I would love to visit a market with so many options! Your choice of dinner looks superb!


Aggie September 25, 2008 at 10:57 pm

OH MY…I would be in heaven on a field trip like that. All of it looks just so good and I love love love your pasta dish!


ChefDruck September 25, 2008 at 11:16 pm

That looks DELICIOUS! What a great recipe – I have some spinach linguine in the fridge – I’m going to have to get some Serrano ham tomorrow to go with it. When is the market open? I would love to check it out!


jdbauer September 26, 2008 at 2:27 am

I’ve been craving pasta for the past few days. Thanks for this. I’m in Denmark where southern warmth is something of a novelty.

Funny story about jamon serrano. I met my wife in Spain. The first time I went to visit her in Denmark after she returned there I asked her if I could bring her some Spanish sausage. She told me it’s illegal to transport meats via air. So a year later I’m at her family’s Christmas dinner and there was this incredible serrano. I asked one member of her family where he got it. He told me that my wife brought back an entire pig leg of serrano ham. I was puzzled. The law was the same when she smuggled the unmistakable svin into Northern Europe.

OK no more loooooong comments:)


mikky September 26, 2008 at 2:43 am

lovely finds… and looks like you two really had fun… 🙂


Adam September 26, 2008 at 7:35 am

Oh, man I can’t even wait for for your cheesesteak review! I love that sandwich!

All of the stores look really cool, but for $127 I want my meat to cook itself 🙂


Cate September 26, 2008 at 9:22 am

WOW I’m jealous! I am dying here without a good cheese shop for miles.


Mary September 26, 2008 at 10:05 am

That market sounds wonderful and your pictures are gorgeous.


Glamorous Life of a House Wife September 26, 2008 at 10:06 am

I love markets like that. SO much fun!


alexandra's kitchen September 26, 2008 at 10:06 am

I used to live two blocks from the Italian Market! This makes me miss Philly. Next time, if you haven’t already been, go to Claudio’s and try their homemade mozzarella, ricotta or burrata. They are all so delicious! Sounds like a great time.


Dawn September 26, 2008 at 10:13 am

I’ve been there and love it. It’s a great place to experiment. My hubby is from Philly and his family 100% Italian and they know all the great places to eat. DiBruno is a treasured place for most Philly folks. Glad you had a good time–how could you not there?


avesta September 26, 2008 at 10:37 am

Oh I would just die to have one of these here in Omaha! I am from Columbus, Ohio and we had a wonderful indoor open market called the North Market and I miss it so much! I’m jealous that your husband enjoys all those goodie that you do!


Candy September 26, 2008 at 12:51 pm

How Fun! I would have asked for a sample of that expensive ham. Have a great weekend.


MF September 26, 2008 at 2:19 pm

I also miss this place and Philly in general. I used to have the new DiBruno Bros. down the street from my apartment. I was never hurting for cheese.

Thanks for bringing back some not-so-distant memories!


The Blonde Duck September 26, 2008 at 2:22 pm

If I ever go up north, I know where I’m going!


Mandy September 26, 2008 at 3:29 pm

Thanks for including the link to the cheese shop. I LOVE CHEESE!



Reeni September 26, 2008 at 4:11 pm

I am so jealous that you have this lovely Italian market to go to and of the Cheesesteaks!!


Michele September 26, 2008 at 4:57 pm

You are going to have to tell me about all of these wonderful places out here. Back in Cleveland I knew where all the great locations were. Here in NJ…not so much. The Italian market looks great!


Prudy September 26, 2008 at 7:53 pm

Love the title of your post. I wish I could have joined in and made it three little piggies. What a fun place to shop!


Jacque September 26, 2008 at 11:11 pm

“adult field trip…” LOL, I’m going to have to remember that.

Wow, sounds like a fabulous time! I am jealous 🙂


Leslie September 27, 2008 at 7:08 am

I am soo jealous that you have such a wonderful market close.
I would go CRAZY there.
Love the past you made with all of your wonderful finds!


Amanda September 27, 2008 at 9:29 am

Oh I am so jealous! I would love to visit that market! My husband is Italian, though I am British and Scottish, I enjoy MANY Italian dishes. Mmmmmmm!


Veggie Mom September 27, 2008 at 10:04 am

Love your blog! I’ve already had breakfast, but after cruising your site, I’m ready for lunch now…and thanks so much for the recipe–I’m always looking for new adventures in the kitchen! BTW, Uncle Lynn’s answering your questions over at my place today, in honor of my 100th Post. Please drop by!


JennDZ - The Leftover Queen September 27, 2008 at 12:21 pm

Sounds like absolute HEAVEN!


Jan September 27, 2008 at 3:10 pm

What a great market, and what an amazing cheese shop. Lucky you!


Katrina September 28, 2008 at 2:00 pm

The pasta looks and sounds yummy and like something I would love. What a fun “adult field trip”, I love that!


Jessie September 28, 2008 at 3:16 pm

cheese steak and Serrano ham… I think I just drooled a little bit! once again yummy recipe and great pictures 🙂


Emiline September 28, 2008 at 3:21 pm

How can ham be that expensive?! How is that possible?

The pasta looks great! Looks like you two had a fun time.


Proud Italian Cook September 28, 2008 at 11:17 pm

I’m in heaven just looking at it all!


Mrs. L October 1, 2008 at 3:55 pm

You’re making me want to go find a Philly Cheesesteak here locally! And the recipe had me with the crispy ham.


Jenns Three Graces September 30, 2009 at 11:19 am

My friend just took me for a birthday weekend here – I gained 6 lbs. between the wine, the bread, the cheese and the pasta – NOT GOOD – but we had a fabulous time and I brought home lots goodies for my hubby and grown sons.


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