One of my very favorite things about living in Boston is that I can walk almost everywhere I need to go. Just down the street from me is a coffee shop, a liquor store, several upscale and casual restaurants, and a train station. If I head a few blocks down, I hit a bank and some grocery stores.
I had some serious grocery shopping to do today, as I was out of town all weekend and was determined to not let anything go bad while I was away. So I skipped my usual after-work run and walked down to the Harvest Co-Op. There, I found homemade tofu, four varieties of kale, and bulk dry goods galore. What’s more, the produce was small and awkwardly-shaped, a true sign that it was grown by actual human farmers and not GMO engineering monstrosities. I was able to buy several different vegetables, which I often avoid because one vegetable is usually large enough to feed the entire state of Rhode Island.
I also scored my new favorite salsa, which had been out of stock for weeks: Nola’s Salsa Fresca, made right here in Jamaica Plain. I can’t deny myself a good salsa, whether I actually need it or not. So, I got inspired at the store and headed home to make dinner. (Another nice thing about walking is what I notice around my apartment that is usually invisible to drivers. Today, it was a little girl skipping in front of me holding a bubble machine, so that the entire way home I walked through a wall of bubbles. I also noticed about 15 mice scampering around a field across from my apartment, but I’m going to pretend I didn’t.) What I made when I got home was so simple but so tasty that I thought I’d share. It was a little cooler and breezier here today (75 degrees!), so this hearty pasta complemented the weather well, while still making use of some seasonal ingredients and fresh flavors.
Harvest Co-Op Pasta
Pasta (I used angel hair)
2 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/2 zucchini, diced
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
4-5 leaves red kale, cut into pieces width-wise and length-wise
1/2 lemon and zest
Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
1. Cook the pasta.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Then, throw in all the vegetables. Sauté until they’re tender.
3. While they’re cooking, juice the lemon over the vegetables and add the zest.
4. Sprinkle on the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Spoon the veggie mixture over the pasta.
5. Eat it and/or take a picture of it with your phone.