I'm in Ballard on Sunday for the market as often as possible. I don't care how many strollers and panting dogs I have to dodge, the vendors (and samples!) are worth it. So, the prospect of spending $13 on anything or everything they have to offer was both enticing and stressful: Do I get a Dante's dog, a veggie quesadilla, and a tamale? A wheel of cheese, some bread, and apples? A crepe and bruschetta?
Where? Ballard Sunday Farmers MarketWhat Does $13 Get You? One container of DiVino Wine Bar's Wild Boar Pasta Sauce ($5), one container of fresh-made tagliatelle pasta ($5), one big bag of mixed greens ($3)Recommend? Hell yes.
Endless possibilities make for endless agony. After nearly completing my first full loop, I was stopped dead in my tracks by two Italians hawking fresh-made goods from DiVino Wine Bar. It was the Wild Boar sauce that hooked me: while waiting tables in Montana, my favorite dish was a pizza topped with the Lord of the Flies creature. That memory, plus the prospect that I could actually feed two hungry (and broke) people a Sunday-night feast for $6.50 a head, sold me. On the Italians' recomendation, I chose the tagliatelle as the vehicle for the tomato-drenched chunks of boar. With $3 left to burn, I would have bought a container of their own hazelnut gelato, but alas, they were out of the $3 size, and I wasn't about to cheat. So I headed down the way to another vendor and bought a hefty bag of mixed greens that had everything from arugula to basil.
The result? Mouthwatering. The sauce delivered ample bites of chewy boar that stood out in the light and simple tomato base, and the fresh pasta was perfect and tender. It has a tendency to stick together more than dried, though, so it requires some attentive stirring. The greens, dressed with some extra virgin and balsamic, provided the perfect palate cleanser between bites. The meal probably could have served four with light portions, but it was so good it could have incited a riot: We played it safe and kept it to ourselves.
Bonus Point: Stop by Fremont's Essential Bakery bread dumpster on the way home for a cost-free, sauce-mopping loaf!