A real treat at the farmer's market is handmade pasta.
Fresh pasta differs substantially from dried pasta, and most experts would not even compare the two -- apples and oranges.
One of the main differences is in texture. Dried pasta is cooked al dente, a little toothsome, a tiny bite at the center, unless, that is, you are overcooking your pasta.
Fresh pasta, which will cook in just a minute or two, should be firm, but nothing like dried pasta. Fresh pasta also deserves a more delicate sauce, never a big, hearty ragout. Fresh pasta will absorbe more of the sauce flavor than dried.
So, you see, there is a difference. If you make it to the Ocean Springs Saturday morning market, look up Chef Danie of Chef Danie Cooks. She is an expert and can answer any pasta questions you might have.
Here is a simple, and delicious pasta recipe for fresh pasta.
FRESH FETTUCCINE AND SHRIMP
1/2 pound peeled shrimp
2-3 cloves finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup cream
Salt and pepper
Sauté the garlic in oil until golden brown, add the tomato paste and wine, stir to incorporate, season liberally with salt and pepper, and cook 10-12 minutes. Add the shrimp and continue cooking for 2 minutes, no more, now add the cream and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Fill a large pot with salted water, bring to a boil and add the pasta and cook for 1 to 3 minutes. No more! Drain, sauce and serve at once.