Let's dish: don't think of pasta as peasant food. Not at these prices. How can it be peasant food, when you pay a princely sum to cook it up, as we recently did for our Sopranos Sunday viewing? You can pay $7 and up for artisan pasta, for instance.
Our ingredients this week came from Market Hall, in Oakland's Rockridge district. While shopping, we ran into Jane Goodman, who reported husband Tim (the Chron's TV Critic) was home resting from his Friday radio stint on KFOG. I'm sure Tim and Oscar will gossip about all that during lunch today, which is their standing Monday lunch.
Here's the Market Hall price breakdown: 1 buffalo mozzarella ball, $5. 2 bags rigatoni, $12. 1/2 lb. Parmesan Reggiano (the good stuff!), $7. Two Spicy Italian Sausages (close to 1 pound), $7. The smell of the sausages cooking up was wonderful-spicy, meaty, with a strong fennel note. Partnered with the other ingredients, it gave the rigatoni zesty flavors. Organic carrots (one bunch), $2. Basil, $3. Watching Tony come out of a coma, which hopefully means no more long dream sequences: worth every penny.