Carfagna’s in Columbus Is a Delizioso Italian Market
Whenever I go to Carfagna’s Market, I always seem to end up standing in line with a lot of other customers at the meat counter. But I don’t mind taking a number and waiting my turn.
That just gives me more time to check out the incredible selection and decide what I want to take home. While Carfagna’s has all kinds of deli meats and sausages plus absolutely beautiful steaks, chops, and chicken, it’s the Italian specialties that really make me salivate.
Since I love to eat Italian food and cook Italian meals, I’m thrilled that Carfagna’s carries a wide assortment of Italian cured meats like prosciutto (ham), pancetta (pork belly bacon), and bresaola (beef).
I’m constantly on the hunt for authentic Italian ingredients, so for me it’s pure pleasure to explore the aisles at Carfagna’s and find my favorite imported cheese – Romano – and artisan pastas made from durum wheat semolina – which cook to perfect al dente consistency – in every imaginable size and shape. I’m especially fond of paccheri, smooth, fat tubes of pasta that I usually stuff with a mixture of spinach and ricotta and mozzarella cheese. Then I simply add marinara sauce and bake the paccheri in an oven-safe dish.
For busy days, I keep jars of Carfagna’s homemade pasta sauces in my pantry. The Sicilian sauce, which contains baby portabellas and roasted peppers, takes like it’s been simmering on the stove all day and perfectly complements another of my Carfagna’s Market shortcuts – the freshly ground, ready-to cook, meatball mix.
The Carfagna family has owned and operated the market for 80 years, and even though it’s located just east of Interstate I-71 on heavily-traveled Dublin-Granville Road, the store still looks and feels like an old-fashioned neighborhood grocery. The row of cardboard crates arranged farmer’s market-style outside the store’s entrance are like mini cornucopias brimming with fruits and veggies. Depending on the season, I can find everything from asparagus spears to bulbs of garlic and from glossy tomatoes to pie pumpkins.
While Carfagna’s carries lots of local produce as well as Ohio cheeses and wines, the market displays its Italian wines with handwritten labels that describe the wines and suggest food pairings. Reading those labels is how I discovered my go-to wine for my pasta dinners.
It’s Masciarelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, and just pouring a glass of that ruby-colored, slightly fruity wine makes me want to shout, "Mangia!”
Carfagna’s Market, 1405 E Dublin-Granville Rd. (at I-71 and State Route 161), Columbus, OH 43229; www.carfagnasmarket.com; 614-846-6340