Fresh Picked Pappardelle

I can't imagine what it must be like being a farmer. The joy that he must have every day, culitivating the land, watering and tending to plants and trees which later feed him and his family. Glorious! This weekend my friends and I visitied Lee Turkey Farms in East Windsor, NJ. This place was magical. There are rows and rows of Apple trees. All different varieties, plump and ripe for the picking. Just walking through the rows of trees there is an intense apple smell, sweet and floral, how could we not sample straight from the tree? Even corn was on the menu for our straight from the source taste test. Yes, RAW CORN! It was sweet like sugar and not hard at all. Can you just picture it? Pulling an ear of corn off its stalk? De-husking it in the middle of a field full of cornrows? Finally, taking a big, juicy bite!

After sampling a countless amount of produce, I was ready for some serious picking. This was Sunday after all and it's a rare thing for my friends to go produce shopping with me! I had my trusty wheelbarrow trailing behind me, collecting the bounty. I recruited my tallest friend, Ben, who just happens to have a serious talent for farming. We were unstoppable. We collected dozens of Apples, Sweet Corn, Baby Eggplant and Broccoli, Cherry Tomatoes, and all kinds of Peppers. I don't even like tomatoes OR green peppers but these were just hanging in the sun, glistening, begging to be picked. I couldn't resist and I didn't. I knew they would be absolutely fabulous in my upcoming dinners this week. 

Besides, what better inspiration can you get than being on a farm and choosing exactly which vegetables you want, straight from the source? It is such a fulfilling thing to experience. It just feels so right. There is no middle man. Just you and the plant and it's fruit. And now for the payoff, dinner! I had been saving this gorgeous Whole Wheat Pappardelle for a special occasion and this was it. Together with a homemade simple tomato sauce and a bevy of freshly picked vegetables, how could it not be good? Let's get Cooking!  

Fresh Picked Pappardelle 

1 lb. Whole Wheat Pappardelle Pasta
3 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Ripe Tomatoes, diced
1 Red Onion, chopped 
3 Garlic Cloves, sliced thinly or minced
1/3 Cup Dry White Wine
1/2 lb. Baby Eggplant, diced
1/2 lb. Baby Broccoli, cut into small florets
1 Ear of Corn, kernels removed
Freshly Cracked S&P 
Parmesan Cheese (optional)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In the meantime, heat up a tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a large pan. Add the chopped Tomatoes, Red Onion and some salt. Next add the Garlic. Sauté on medium heat for a few minutes. Deglaze pan with the White Wine. Add the rest of the vegetables to the pan and continue to sauté. Season well with Salt and Pepper. When the Pappardelle is ready, transfer it into the sauce. Add some of the starchy pasta water, if needed, to loosen the sauce. Adjust seasonings to your liking. Top with Parmesan Cheese and enjoy!

Oh, hey there! See that yummy Roasted Spicy Corn Salad next to my gorgeous Pappardelle?! Well if you want to know how it's made, you're in luck! Bonus recipe is right here! 

Roasted Corn and Cherry Tomato Salad with Zucchini 

8 oz. Cherry Tomatoes, halved
3 Ears of Corn, kernels removed
4 Hot Peppers, chopped (de-seed them if you can't handle the heat!)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Freshly Cracked Salt or Sea Salt
2 Medium Zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch peices 
Juice of 1 Lemon

Preheat oven to 425. On a small baking sheet, toss Cherry Tomatoes with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and S&P. Roast for about 30 minutes. On another baking sheet, toss together Corn Kernels and Hot Peppers with remaining EVOO and Salt. Roast for about 15-20 minutes. Once done, mix together all roasted vegetables, Zucchini and Lemon juice. Enjoy!


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