Sunday, July 12, 2009

Partner in Crime (& Cooking)

Summer days, when we're all together at the Cape Cod house, are equal parts chaos, adventure, and the unexpected...and really, with six kids around, five of them being boys, I think we manage to keep things under control relatively well. But the one thing my sister-in-law and I have gotten really good at is turning out (fantastic, if I do say so myself) meals for twelve from the tiny kitchen. We've found an easy rhythm in the narrow space, do-si-do-ing around each other in a semi-choreographed dance of chopping, chatting, and cooking. I'm thrilled to have another woman around, especially one who is an excellent cook.

We especially enjoy heading out to the farmers' markets, farm stands and specialty stores to seek out inspiration for our evening meals, and last night was no exception. Satucket Farm Stand was loaded with ripe produce and we picked up corn, zucchini, crookneck squash, and tomatoes in hopes it would come together as a sauce for some homemade pasta we were planning on whipping up with the new Kitchen Aid Pasta Machine. In truth, vegetables that ripen simultaneously often make the best partners in a dish and we certainly found this to be the case in this sauce. I was a bit worried that the corn-with-pasta combination would be over the top in the carb department, but the corn was so fresh, crisp and light it didn't seem heavy at all. And though I still prefer my old hand-cranked pasta machine we have at home, the Kitchen Aid version made quick work of the dough...and when cooking for the masses, sometimes (perhaps most of the time) speed takes precedence over nostalgia.

Farm Stand Pasta
serves 6

1 1/2 pounds of your favorite fresh egg pasta (we made our own)
2 ears of corn, kernels cut off
1 shallot
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic
2 T olive oil
2 T butter
2 zucchini, cut in 1/4 inch half moons
2 crook neck squash, cut in 1/4 inch half moons
handful of fresh basil, slivered
1/2 C dry white wine
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped

Prepare pasta according to package directions.

Heat olive oil and butter together in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and onion and saute until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add corn and squash and saute until golden brown. Add wine and stir to de-glaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits. Stir in tomatoes and basil and cook until tomatoes dissolve and become quite saucy, about 10 minutes more. Drain pasta and add to skillet, tossing well. If pasta seems sticky, add a splash or two of the pasta cooking water. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour out into large serving bowl and top with shredded fresh Parmesan cheese.


Trish said...

What fun...a partner in crime and in the kitchen....oh and I have to favorite line is "in truth...." and then it mattered not what you said after that for I saw the writer in you and reveled in the two words...favorites line starters of mine! the recipe was terrific too. What a neat thing to do...make pasta together. No patience on my part. Then again, If I was at Cape Cod and had a partner in crime...just perhaps I would be motivated too.

Ann @ Cooking the Books said...

The only thing I love more than cooking is cooking with a friend and your farm-fresh pasta sounds delicious. How I wish they sold fresh corn on the cob in France -- alas, that is given to zee animals.

Isn't summer produce thrilling?

Alison said...

Trish, it really isn't that difficult to make fresh've got to at least give it one chance.

Ann, quelle trag├ędie ! (I totally used one of those online translators for that...hope it makes sense! LOL!)