• Posted by Califia Suntree on August 22nd, 2006, 4:50 PM

    it’s time for berry everything. lucky me, my mom brought back a big container of blackberries she picked near arcata. it’s also time for eggplants, tomatoes, corn … it’s just too much. here’s a recipe for this glamorous produce season:

    pasta estate (that’s ‘summer pasta’ in italian … i think)

    4 first-course or side-dish servings

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 leek, white & pale green parts only
    1 clove garlic
    about 3/4 cup each, in bite sized pieces: young carrots, baby eggplants, green, wax, or baby romano beans, mixed mushrooms, assorted tomatoes
    1/2 cup white wine
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 teaspoon flour
    3/4 cup grated parmesean cheese
    salt & pepper
    1 package papardelle pasta

    get the pasta water boiling (salted like the sea, remember). heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. very gently sauté the leek & garlic just until softened. add the carrots & cook 2-3 minutes. add the eggplant. when the eggplant starts to soften, add the beans & mushrooms. cook it all very gently until the mushrooms start to wilt. add the tomatoes, stir it all together, add salt & pepper to taste. keep it cooking over low heat. you want veggies with integrity, so don’t overcook! heat the wine in a small saucepan until steaming. add the butter in little pieces, whisking after each addition. when it is a smooth emulsion, add the flour a teensy sprinkle at a time, whisking & whisking to make a smooth sauce. bring it to a simmer & add 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste). remove from heat. when the pasta’s cooked, toss it with the sauce, add the veggies, & stir in the parm. (some shredded basil over the top wouldn’t hurt.)

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