Following me around at a local Farmer's Market is like trailing behind a 2 year old in Toys 'R Us. I wind back and forth, to and fro, stopping and starting again as I take in all the colors, sounds and smells. My strategy is to check out everything first, especially what's almost gone, and then I come back and begin to fill my bags with bounty. I find it hard to contain my excitement and I'm pretty sure I squealed with delight at least twice.
What I don't have following me when I shop is a friend with a camera. Or a friend with a camera and an amazing eye. Or a friend with a camera and an amazing eye who actually likes following me around. As luck would have it, I had it ALL of things this day.
Above Photos by Victoria Neer
Vicky, my shutterbug friend and unwitting shadow made me feel like a rock star as I posed with every dirt covered orb, while she bent down to snap an interesting angle. I half expected her to say, "work it, work it!" Especially when she captured me sniffing the sweet aroma of fresh peppers with my eyes nearly rolling back into my head.
After I chose just the right Aji Dulce Peppers, the best Lemon and Basil goat cheese, and the most beautiful white sweet onions ever, we sat down to watch a cooking demonstrations, rubbed our fingers across the smooth texture of fresh eggs, and sampled some of the best vodka sauce I've ever tried and ended up using to cook with that night. (You have to check out Cannizzaro Famiglia!)
I love a late summer farmer's market. Every aisle begs you to go to the beach and make soup all at the same time. It seems everyone is in the perfect groove between vacation and fall bounty. The taste of the vegetables and fruit is intense as a result of being harvested this time of year; a mixture of warm sunshine and cool evenings just brings out the best in everything. So, after lingering at one last booth to purchase beautiful pink and white variegated chioggia beets, I took my bounty and headed to the kitchen.
So enough about me striking a pose. Let's get to the recipes. Here's what I did:
The medley of peppers were roasted and mixed into a vodka sauce which was then folded into beautiful, thin tagliarelle pasta. I love the thin, elegant but perfectly textured feel of these noodles.
The goat cheese ended up being folded into puff pastry with kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, and some good olive oil for an incredible appetizer.
As all of you know, I treat food like jewelery. I adorn it, and let it adorn the evening. And just as Vicky followed me around the Farmer's Market that day, I will always follow food that makes the people around me squeal with delight at what I've put on their plate.
RECIPE: Roasted Pepper, Pancetta and Vodka Sauce with Tagliarelle
Serves 4 / Click here for printable version
4 C of rough chopped peppers from farmers market of all kinds
2 Chioggia beets, cut into chunks
¼ C pancetta
1 bottle of your favorite vodka sauce
1 box tagliarelle pasta
3 T light oil
1 large clove of garlic
1/3 small onion rough chopped
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place cut peppers, onions and beets on a baking sheet, toss with 2T oil and salt and pepper, generously sprinkled. Roast in oven for about 25 minutes until soft and cooked.
In a large saucepan, add 1 T oil and the pancetta. Cook until lightly browned but not hardened. Only takes a couple of minutes. Add the vodka sauce and all the peppers, onions and beets into the pan. Let simmer on low for about 15 minutes. While simmering cook the pasta according to directions, about 6 minutes. Ladle the pasta into the sauce mixture. Stir. Serve with torn basil.
RECIPE: Kalamata Olive, Sundried Tomato,
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Meet the Cook...
My name is Camine Pappas and I love to create beautiful and delicious food that anyone can make. My signature style centers around a love for combining things in a way you might not expect as I work to find a hidden combination of colors, textures and flavors from the things that are in my pantry and/or easy to obtain.