In theory, I love the Farmer’s Market — all that bright, locally grown fruit and veg, bursting with peak ripeness… ooooh shopping there makes me feel so virtuous. In practice, however, the Farmer’s Market kind of stresses me out. I never make a list or meal-plan before I go, because that seems to defeat the concept of “cooking with the season.” Ten minutes into the market, however, I’ve spent an unholy sum of cash with only a sack of small plums and a novelty basket of fresh chick peas to show for it. (Btw — fresh chick peas? Totally not worth it.)
Happily, my friends, I’ve discovered the most wonderful, virtually-no-cook meal to make with all the farm-stand produce — and it’s delicious, fast, and low-effort to boot. This pasta combines the best of summer vegetables — tomatoes, corn, zucchini — into a dish that I’ve been making weekly. It’s so easy, I hesitated to write about it here, wondering if it even counted as a recipe. My husband convinced me that it is. It is! Here’s what you do:
In a baking dish, combine tomatoes (cherry, or chunks of heirloom), some zucchini batons, a crushed garlic clove, olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 350ºF until the zucchini is tender and the tomatoes have relinquished their juices, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the kernels off an ear of fresh corn. If your corn is young, sweet, and tender (as it should be this time of year) you can scrape it in raw. Cooked is also fine. Anything goes! Boil a pot of water. When the vegetables have a few more minutes to roast, start cooking your pasta. When the vegetable are tender, remove them from the oven and stir in the corn kernels. The vegetables are flexible, by the way, happy to wait on the counter for the pasta to finish cooking.
Drain the pasta — reserve a cup or so of cooking water — and add it directly to the baking dish of vegetables. Stir to combine, adding dashes of pasta cooking water if necessary. (I usually find that the tomatoes are juicy enough.) Taste and season with salt and pepper. You can also stir in a chunk of butter, if you’re feeling devilish. Serve immediately, passing Parmesan at the table.
You guys, that’s it! (As I said — not sure if this actually constitutes a recipe :) Like all of summer’s best food, the season itself is really the star. I hope you enjoy the end of it and I’ll see you back here in a couple of weeks!