Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Farmers Market Okra and Tomato Pasta

Hello Friends! Can you believe it's already October??

In addition to the many sporting events Mike and I watched last weekend, I also found time to make it to our local Farmers Market in Piedmont Park. There's something so wholesome about walking over and picking up some fresh produce. I love it.

Now usually when I go, I wander around looking at what each booth has, recognize only half of the stuff, consider asking but chicken out, and end up leaving with a bag of fruit. Well ladies and gentlemen  this weekend I was lucky enough to have a new friend with me who was not afraid to walk right up to a booth and start asking questions. 

As a result I scored some awesome tastes of new things...muscadines?!?! Ever tried them? And I walked away with a cucumber and OKRA in addition to my standard bag o' fruit. 

After a year down here in the South, I've certainly had my fair share of fried okra prepared by our local eateries. When it comes to my knowledge of actually preparing okra myself, I know one thing: okra is Slime City (thank you to Top Chef for my vast culinary knowledge). Conveniently said friend was more than happy to ask for some advice on prep. The trick to avoiding Nickelodeon style slime? Oven Roasting!

There's something lovely about this fresh pasta dish with veg as the focus and no heavy sauces to weight it down.

What You'll Need
1/3 box of Linguine
Cherry Tomatoes
5-6 cloves of Garlic
Olive Oil
Slat & Pepper to taste

Our cast and crew for the night.

Preheat your oven to 450. Begin cooking your pasta in a large pot. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment for easy clean up.

No boiling over in our kitchen.

Do you guys use the wooden spoon trick to stop your pot from boiling over? As an often times distracted cook, I've found this to be a life saver.

While the pasta is cooking and the oven preheating, prep your veg. Cut the okra into small coins. Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise. Peel the garlic. Place all veg on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly and pop it in the oven for 15-20 minutes, tossing again halfway through.

Check on your pasta. Once it's al dente, drain and return to the pot with a small drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking and clumping.

Once the veg has been roasted to your liking, remove from the oven and begin playing the fun game of fine the garlic cloves. You'll want to chop the garlic finely. I even used the knife to mash it into a paste.

Yummy..resist the urge to spread this on bread and eat immediately.

Add your roasted veg and garlic to the pasta. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, if needed, and toss to combine. Serve up the pasta and top with a sprinkle of pepper to taste.

om nom nom

Happy Hump Day. Eat something delicious!


  1. That looks good. But what does okra taste like? Any comparison to another vegetable? It kind of looks like zucchini

    1. Yes, kind of like a zucchini or eggplant. I'd say it's kind of got the texture of a pepper mixed with a green bean. Very very yummy. Also, if you put them raw into a soup (tomato would be yummy) the sliminess will actually act as a natural thickener and result in a creamier soup.