One of my favorite things to do is to walk into a farmers’ market and create a recipe on the spot. On Saturday, I knew that I wanted to eat pasta for dinner but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to put in it. I stopped by the Kirkwood Farmers’ market, surveyed what looked good, and came up with a plan.
I know it’s summer when I start craving roasted tomatoes and corn. Growing up, I lived down the street from a farmer who sold vegetables by the side of the road. I’d ride my bike down the street to buy fresh vegetables from him. Sometimes, he’d let me go into the field and pick my own.
One day he asked me what I planned to do with the vegetables that I bought. “Put them on a sandwich,” I said. “The best thing you can do with those is sprinkle on a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and put them in the oven,” he said. “That’s all they need.”
His words have stayed with me. Whenever I think about what to do with summer vegetables I go for a minimalist approach. If you have quality produce, the flavors speak for themselves. You don’t need to bury them in sauce or other ingredients.
This pasta is one of the easiest things to make and the most delicious. All you have to do is toss some fresh corn and cocktail tomatoes with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper, and roast them in the oven for a little until they start to turn golden brown.
In the meantime, make the pasta. The papparadelle cooks quickly so you can do that at the last minute, after you’ve sliced some basil. Reserve a little of the pasta cooking water to use for the sauce. Stir in goat cheese, add the basil and roasted vegetables, and sprinkle on some more salt and pepper.
I shared this pasta with my mom but I could have eaten the whole pot by myself. If you have a big appetite or you’re not good at sharing, I would recommend doubling this recipe. There’s something about the fragrant basil, sweet tomatoes, roasted corn, and tart goat cheese sauce that makes this pasta addictive.
Here’s a song that reminds me of these noodles. I’ve been listening to a lot of Joan Baez lately.
Papparadelle with Goat Cheese Sauce and Roasted Corn and Tomatoes (from me, to you)
1 cup cocktail tomatoes, halved
2 ears of bicolor corn, shucked and kernels removed
salt and pepper
1 cup basil leaves, roughly sliced or torn
1 package papparadelle noodles
3 oz goat cheese
1/4-1/2 cup pasta cooking water
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
On one sheet, place the cocktail tomatoes cut side up and drizzle on a little olive oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper. On the other sheet, spread out the corn kernels and drizzle on some olive oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper, tossing until the kernels are evenly coated. Make sure the corn kernels are evenly distributed on the sheet.
Place the baking sheets in the oven and roast the tomatoes and corn for about 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes start to break down and the corn starts to turn golden brown.
In the meantime, make the pasta. Cook papparadelle according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Return the noodles to the pot and add the goat cheese and the cooking water, stirring in the water slowly to make a sauce. Add more water if the sauce is too chunky, but be careful not to add too much. Stir in the basil leaves, reserving some for garnish.
Once the tomatoes and corn are done roasting, stir them into the pasta, saving a few roasted tomatoes for topping. Sprinkle on salt and pepper to taste. Serve with more cut basil and roasted tomatoes. Enjoy!