At the August 1st West End Farmers Market…

cherry_tomatoesThese organic cherry tomatoes are bursting with flavour. I recommend using them to accentuate a dish of pasta al olio. Often regarded as a good test of cooking ability by Italians of discriminating taste, pasta al olio is both delicious and deceivingly simple to prepare. The key is to not over complicate things. You just want to use a few quality ingredients and allow them to shine through. In this case, I think that the addition of the cherry tomatoes works well.

When you start cooking your pasta (a quality bronze dyed fettuccine is recommended), add the halved cherry tomatoes, some thinly sliced garlic, a sprinkling of kosher salt, and a generous amount of olive oil to a second pan. The tomatoes will start to break down while your pasta boils.  Be careful to cook at a low temperature, ensuring that the slices of garlic do not brown. When your pasta is al dente, the tomatoes will be ready. Toss to combine and, if needed, add some of the reserved pasta water to bring it all together.  Finish with some torn basil leaves, a little freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano and a few cracks of pepper if you like.  Simple and very, very good.

pasta_olioThere will be a greater selection of heirloom, field-ripened tomatoes at the market this week; they may still even be around if you wake up at 11. A variety of peppers including Hungarian hot bananas and a Spanish delicacy called padrones will also be available.  Apricots, an early apple variety or two, and maybe even some peaches will make an appearance. Superstar and Walla Walla onions, both fresh and cured garlic, several varieties of basil, zucchini, cucumbers, and a selection of beans should also be among the offerings from the friendly folks at Klippers Organic Acres.

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About paul

Paul, co-founder of the Hanging Pig, has a passion for all things food-related. This is doubly true for food that is sourced locally. From May until October, he can be found at the Vancouver Farmers Markets volunteering with Klippers Organic Acres. Through the changing seasons, he blogs about the extensive variety of produce as it arrives from their farm in the South Okanagan. Paul also has an interest in exploring and writing about local farms and specialty food shops that fly beneath the culinary radar.

4 thoughts on “At the August 1st West End Farmers Market…

  1. Christine

    Another similarly simple recipe is to throw in a can of anchovies in hot olive oil while your pasta is cooking. The anchovies will dissolve in a few minutes. Then throw in the cherry tomatoes, warm up for another minute and toss in with the pasta. There’s no need to add any anything else but I’m sure a few herbs wouldn’t hurt.

    It’s a great dish to make at the end of the day when you really don’t like spending too much time in the kitchen.

  2. AlysO

    hmmm … you might be thinking of bronze ‘died’ (as in run through a pasta maker that used an extrusion die made of bronze) rather than ‘dyed’ which would imply that it was coloured ‘bronze’ …
    It all sound delicious – :-)

  3. paul Post author

    Thanks Christine. I will try this. I rarely cook with anchovies, but it’s always been on my list of things to do more with. I actually picked up a few tins of anchovies packed in olive oil a few months ago in Steveston. I have lots of cherry tomatoes and plenty of pasta, so this will go into the meal rotation this week.

  4. paul Post author

    Hi AlysO,

    Thanks for your comment. You are correct, I meant to say bronze ‘died’ rather than “dyed”. Big difference! :)

    When I get to some of the specialty Italian shops in East Van (such as La Grotta del Formaggio on Commerical and 1st), I like to pick up a selection of pastas made in this way from a company called Rustichella d’abruzzo.

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