There is nothing like thinking ahead to the long days of summer that await us and contemplating all the fresh and delicious meals that will be eaten. Lets face it, eating well is so much easier in summer. The avocados are cheap and plentiful, even the most challenged gardener can get some cherry tomatoes and herbs going and the farmers markets are bursting with goodness.
This weekend meal was created after a trip to a favourite farmers market. It represents an easy path to a good meal. Add garlic, good quality olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt and something delicious will probably appear.
I hope this lead up to Xmas is treating you well. Take a breath, drop a few things from that massive to-do list and eat some good food!
Hugs. Kelly xo
Summer farmers market pasta w/ slow roasted cherry tomatoes
500 grams cherry tomatoes
OIl for roasting
1 bunch asparagus (thin spears are best) - trimmed of woody end
2 medium zucchini (firmer is better)
2 large cloves garlic - finely diced
100ml good quality extra virgin olive oil
Handful fresh parsley - roughly chopped (could also use fresh basil)
250 grams gluten free spaghetti (I use Ceres Organics Supergrain pasta)
Soft cheese, feta or parmesan to top pasta ( I used the Clevedon Buffalo Co marinated soft buffalo cheese)
Preheat oven to 150 degrees celsius. Halve the cherry tomatoes and lay in a single layer on an oven-proof dish. Drizzle generously with oil and season with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Bake for 1 hour or a bit longer until slightly shrivelled.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the asparagus for 30-45 seconds (depending on thickness) before quickly draining and plunging into icey water to halt the cooking and retain the bright green colour. Lay on a clean tea towel to dry for using.
Warm the Extra Virgin olive oil and the garlic VERY gently in a saute pan for 5-10 minutes. You want the garlic to soften and infuse the oil but you don’t want the damage the delicate oil. It is better to have on a low heat for longer than to spoil the quality of the oil.
While the oil is infusing, use a spiraliser or a vegetable peeler to create ribbons with the zucchini.
Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain well, retaining 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Add this plus pasta to the warm olive oil. Toss well and season with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Add the zucchini, parsley, cherry tomatoes (including the pan juices) and asparagus spears**. Toss through for one minute before removing form the heat. The idea is to warm everything without overcooking the zucchini.
Divide pasta amongst the plates. Top with the cheese that you’ve chosen, some red chilli flakes and additional fresh herbs. Serve immediately.
**In the pictures I’ve set the asparagus alongside the pasta dish as a way of showing all the ingredients and letting the guests integrate the asparagus as desired. If serving them on the side, given them a good drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.
A few more thoughts
When asparagus are not in season, feel free to use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Finely, chopped greens, fresh corn, broadbeans, roasted capsium and eggplant would all be delicious.
I get lots of questions about which spiraliser I use. I have this inexpensive one from Father Rabbit. It’s great.
Make extra cherry tomatoes and add them to salads. I adore them cooked this way.