I admit this much about food.
I fall prey to my eyes being bigger than my tummy. And in the summer time after lumbering out of bed on a sunny Sunday, sometimes skipping breakfast to beat the crowds, and then heading to the gorgeous Farmer’s Market it’s all I can do not to throw my cash at the Bratwurst seller or to scarf a bag of mini-Donuts while I peruse the fresh produce and artisan wares. The way we hit the market is that we go with a general idea of what we plan on making- Whether it’s a late brunch or dinner- and play it by ear. (This, friends, has its drawbacks. As it raises the ultimate vicious circle of “Well what do YOU feel like making?”…scary)
Speaking of which, do you like “3-for-1” deals like I do? I dig a bargain like the next person. I find that buying ingredients one basket for one meal at a time just doesn’t feel as budget conscious as the “Three for ‘$’ ” deals you’re offered. So what do you do if you go in wanting red potatoes and maaaaaybe broccoli and walk away with the additional peppers, tomatoes, asparagus, and Morton Soft Water Salt Pellet sized bag of spinach?
Improvise…(Cue jazz music here)
Our previously mentioned stir-fry dish in the last post is one of the initial reasons we hit the “LFM” (Heretoforthwith- Lyndale Farmer’s Market) but we ended up with a lot of extra produce (in the 3-fer packs) that I worried (I worry) about what to do with. Soooo- Wraps came first (Monday). And then, we improvised. It’s pretty easy, and we hope you enjoy:
We (You, gentle reader) had green pepper, tomato, spinach, and onion left over along with a mega sized bulb of garlic (Which, IMHO, you should always have one on hand. Or two. We smell.) I tend to make bulk pasta purchases of varying noodle types so you have a variety to play with and tonight’s celebrity noodle? Garafolo…complete with caustic observational mid-nineties humor. (It’s like rotini, split down the middle)
Lastly, but not leastly- Early in the market season we stocked up on several different herbs which we potted. Just 2.5 weeks since potting, we’ve been able to reap the bounty and at a bargain. Fresh beats spice rack herbs hands down. For this, we used Basil, Oregano and Thyme.
-Chop tomato, zucchini, onion, and green pepper. MINCE the garlic and the herbs.
-In a medium to large skillet lightly coated in olive oil, sautee ‘ the onion and tomato until the onion becomes slightly translucent. Add garlic and bell pepper. Keep stirring so it doesn’t start to burn and stick to the bottom of the pan.
-Bring a quart of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt, and add your pasta. Cook pasta to directions, but keep watching it!
-When the veggies look slightly soft, add the spinach. This is when you’ll need to really babysit it since the spinach will get wilty fast under the heat. After the spinach does get dark and a little wilty (Don’t let it burn!) add the minced herbs. Turn the heat off.
-Drain the pasta after it is al dente and rinse in cold water. Transfer back to empty pot.
– Add Sauteed veggies and toss/mix until uniform.
-Add feta or fresh grated Parmesan, cracked black pepper, or cracked sea salt. (And red pepper flakes if you want some kick).
Serve with fresh warm crusty bread and a dipping sauce, or leftover olive oil with grated parm and pepper mixed in.
Total prep time- 25 minutes.
ps: Many of these veggies were pre-chopped from our wrap experience the night before which expedited cooking/prepping.
pps: Our original goal was to use farfalle. If you experiment with other pasta and it blows your mind? Post it here!
ppps: What do YOU like doing with the extras laying about the house? Do you improvise with things sitting behind the box of Uncle Ben’s? A dusty box of scalloped potatoes? Frozen mixed vegetables? Can you make magic out of random objects in your crock pot? If the world…were to end…tomorrow: Could you cobble together a feast out of condiments and stolen Equal packets from Caribou???