Farmer's Market Pasta
This summer we discovered a weekly farmer’s market five blocks from our house. I quickly became obsessed (maybe to a fault, who’s to say) with buying local produce. Almost every week we made our way to the market and talked indulgently (as we walked home with our reusable grocery bags full of fresh bounty) about how nice and logical it would to only eat food in its season.
Admittedly, it’s easy to romanticize the idea of becoming seasonal eaters in August, when almost everything is at its very best. We’ll see if we still feel the same about it in December when our options become slim — hello, squash and potatoes.
Over the course of the summer, I found that there were a few things that I could. not. stop. buying and so was born this pasta that tastes like pure summer. It comes together with little effort and is meat-free for those of us concerned about the UN’s recent announcement. Here’s how I made it:
4 servings of spaghetti (we use fresh — I know, roll your eyes)
1-1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 yellow onion
3 T. goat cheese
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
Chop ends off of onion and slice in half lengthwise. Thinly slice each half of the onion.
Add enough olive oil to a pan or cast iron skillet so that the bottom is coated. Heat on medium heat and add onions. Stir onions every few minutes as you prepare the rest of the meal. Onions should take about 30-45 minutes to cook down and caramelize. When onions are about halfway cooked, start boiling the pasta water.
Cook pasta according to package instructions in heavily salted water. The water should taste like the ocean — I’m talking HEAVILY salted. When draining, reserve about a cup of the pasta water. Keep pasta as warm as possible while the onions finish cooking.
When the onions are just about finished, add 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar to the pan. Scrape up all the bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes and cook a few minutes until they’re cooked through and some are starting to burst. Salt the onions and tomatoes to taste.
Mix pasta, onion and tomato mixture, and goat cheese. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil and a half cup of hot pasta water while incorporating the tomatoes, onions, and cheese into the pasta. Keep adding pasta water and olive oil a little at a time as necessary until the pasta becomes smooth. This is the most labor-intensive part of meal. Try to get the cheese as mixed in as you can but it’s no biggie if there’s some chunks. Top with additional goat cheese if desired and enjoy!