Saturday, August 5, 2017

Summer Tomato Sauce and Penne "Farm to Table"

                 Happy Saturday! Can you believe this week is almost gone?
      This week we decided to search for a farmstand. We know there is a farmer's market not too far away. But it is only there on Monday and Thursday. For what ever reason we never seem to be able to make it on those days. The area in which we live is mostly farm country. In fact that is just what attracted me to this town...Acres and acres of farmland. I am in love with the beauty of the many miles of corn fields. I think There is no doubt this is what sealed the deal for us to move here.
I also think the farmland reminds me of what Long Island was like when I moved there many years ago. All of the farms are now gone from where we lived on the Island. The land became so valuable most farmers sold their land. The farms are now replaced by shopping malls, shopping centers, home developments and condominiums. I know this is progress but I missed them. I loved them!
When I get homesick what makes me feel better is to ride past the miles and miles of farms... the corn fields, the vegetable farms the peach orchards, the strawberry fields, the fields of wild flowers and the rows and rows of greenhouses For those few moments the memories of back home fill my heart. I am in awe of the beauty here. Little by little I am falling in love with this little corner of my world.
        I wanted to buy local produce. There are so many farms we knew there had to be a farm stand. We came across this stand in the middle of nowhere. It looked like it had been there forever. What fantastic vegetables! There is something very appealing about standing in the middle of the farm where you can see the vegetables growing.Smelling the air and the earth and being able to purchase what was in the ground just a short time ago. Buying what is in season and locally grown is not only healthier, but also tastier.
Corn field

       Tomatoes, garlic and basil to make a summer sauce with penne pasta for dinner. The cantaloupe smelled so good we couldn't resist... they were only $1.00.

                                                 Summer Tomato Sauce with Penne

            1 lb. ripe cherry tomatoes (vine ripened are best) rinsed, dried, and cut in half
            1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling over finished pasta
            1 teaspoon sea salt
            pinch of crushed hot pepper
            4 cloves garlic peeled
            10 fresh basil shredded
            1/2 lb. bocconcini (bite-size mozzarella) cut in half
            1 lb.penne
Toss the tomatoes, oil, sea salt, and crushed red pepper together in a large bowl. Whack garlic with side of knife and toss into bowl. Let marinate at room temperature, tossing once or twice for at least 30 minutes.
While the tomatoes are marinating, bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in an 8 quart pot over high heat.
Stir the penne into the boiling water. Return to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook the pasta, semi covered 10 to 12 minutes,
Remove the garlic from the marinated tomatoes and toss in basil. Drain the pasta, and add it to the bowl, and toss well to mix. Check the seasoning. adding salt and more crushed red pepper if necessary. Gently stir in bocconcini and serve.
Serve with freshly grated cheese (Grana Padano)


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