Today is going to be a departure. I’m going to post a recipe. The idea was that I was going to use whatever I could find from our farm share extras table to make a pasta dish, and I wanted to use up the leftover bechamel sauce from an experiment. I think you could easily mix and match whatever veggies you have on the counter or in the freezer. This is a good way to work with the veggies in a CSA share. Had I know that someone would leave their broccoli share, I would have added some of that, too. The only vegetable that did not come from Goldfinch Farm was the onion, which was an aromatic and juicy vidalia. I have been chopping my vegetables quite finely lately, because the children find it more of a bother to push them to the sides when we are eating.
Jon has been buying hearty pastas: orecchiette and casareese have been our favorites. I chose the casareese for last night’s supper, but any favorite pasta would do, I think. I did like the sturdiness of this pasta in last night’s dinner.
It takes three different pans, which is the biggest drawback to this, but they all cleaned up quickly. The process sounds a little complicated, but it did not take long.
Here is what I used:
2 Tbsp. butter, for sauteeing vegetables (you could use your oil of choice instead)
1 onion, chopped
1/4 tsp. cumin (or whatever amount you want)
2 red peppers, finely chopped (green would do)
1 generous handful green beans, chopped
2 summer squash, chopped (I used one green and one yellow)
2 garlic scapes, minced (garlic cloves would work, too)
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour (I used white bread flour for this)
2 c. milk (I tend to use less milk than it calls for)
3/4 c. cheddar cheese, grated
dash of chili powder
dash of paprika
leaves of three sprigs of fresh basil, minced
1 box casareese pasta (or another favorite)
Large handful of cherry tomatoes, halved (we use sungolds, or chopped fresh large tomatoes would work, too)
Chop and prepare veggies.
Cook the pasta according to directions. While the water is heating, begin cooking the veggies.
In a large, sturdy frying pan, heat butter. When bubbly, add onion. Sprinkle on a bit of salt, and cook until fragrant and almost translucent. Add peppers and cumin. Stir and cook a minute longer. Add green beans and continue cooking on fairly low temp. When green beans are softening, add squash, and cook until squash is just beginning to wilt.
For sauce, heat 2 Tbsp. butter in a small pan until bubbly. Add garlic scapes, and stir until aromatic but not scorched. Add a little salt and pepper. Add flour to absorb the butter, and cook on low temp until it turns a gentle beige. Slowly add milk, stirring after each quarter cup or so, smoothing and thickening at each step. When all the milk has been smoothed in and sauce is thickening, stir in the chili powder and paprika, then the basil. Turn off the burner, and fold in the cheese until it is melted throughout.
Toss pasta and vegetables with sauce. Top each serving with several halved cherry tomatoes.
1. Bats! Flitting around in the gloaming, eating up those mosquitos. Bats. They have changed their roosting spot this year, and I haven’t been able to see them almost daily like I have for the past couple summers. But they’re still here.
2. Mimosa trees. The colors keep coming. I always think of Dr. Seuss when I see a mimosa tree in bloom. I think the faeries are particularly fond of mimosa trees. I know the pollinators are, and perhaps that’s the same thing.
3. Pollinators. I have been sighing at the loss of the honeybee hives this year. Both hives died out over the winter, and because we had initially planned not to farm this year, we did not rent another set. I have noticed the scarcity of the Little Sisters this season. Still, there are many others pollinators, busy in the flowers and the fields, happily abuzz.
4. Wings, feathers, flying things. Which is to say, healing, on its way to so many whom I love.
5. The Dreammaker. I think I will make a new doll to personify the dream-vision process.
May we walk in Beauty!