The other day I had the chance to visit Stockton Market, a place I’ll be writing more about for BestofNJ.com and JerseyBites.com. I described it to my husband as everything I love about what some of the hipster culture is about – fresh ingredients, from the farm, local love, know your source – and less about selfies. Am I a hipster? Word is still out, but I’ll never tire of meeting like minded people who share a passion for what they are creating, whether that be handmade goat cheeses to beautiful artwork. I could go on, but let’s get to the point… and the point of the post is PASTA.
Oh pasta. It’s a love affair that will never allow me to fit into those one size smaller jeans. But, I’m ok with that because I could never live without it. Especially freshly made pasta. There’s something so delicate and exciting about it that is different from your go to dried pasta in your cabinet (and yes, I love that pasta too). For me, most of the time anyways, I thin of dried pasta as a vehicle for the sauce I’m about to create. However, with fresh pasta, it’s just as much a part of the dish as the sauce. In fact, everything is elevated because of it. Cook it perfectly, only 3 minutes (or as long as the package tells you to), then toss it with your sauce and you’ll be singing its praises too!
Ok, so back to my trip to Stockton Market and my purchase of LoRe Pasta. Organic pastas, handmade using only the finest stone ground flours from Castle Valley Mill in Doylestown, PA. These guys also happened to be featured in the latest issue of Edible Jersey, where you can find them gushing about the process.
On this particular day, I attempted to go home with some of LoRe’s beautiful beet pasta, however they were sold out, so I went with the spinach rotini. Other choices included a spelt spaghetti, which I’m not regretting not purchasing. As she handed over the bag of delicate pasta, she told me to store it in the fridge and if I didn’t use it in a week, to freeze it. I laughed and told her there’s no way I’m waiting a week.
One day later, I was boiling water. I decided to go with the green theme and create a kale pesto. I didn’t have pine nuts, so I added in some cashews. I didn’t have Parmigano so I sprinkled goat cheese on top. Add in a few sprigs of parsley, some bright olive oil (which I’ll talk about in another post), some salt, pepper, and yes, red pepper flakes, and I was in pasta heaven.
Unfortunately, we devoured our meals before I took a picture of the finished product. But that shouldn’t stop you from making this! If you don’t have the ability to buy LoRe’s Pasta, head to your local Italian deli or even a specialty goods store. You may find that someone in your area is following a similar protocol. And buying fresh pasta is worth the effort! Not only does it lend a different taste, but it also cuts cooking time down by at least half!
Kale Pesto with Fresh Pasta
1 bunch Lacinto Kale, stems removed
1/4 flat parsley
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup grated Grana Padano cheese
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon red chili flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 package of fresh pasta
1/4 cup goat cheese
Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor until the desired consistency. I like a thicker consistency with my pesto, but that’s just my preference. After you’ve cooked the pasta for 3 minutes (remember to read the package directions) in heavily salted boiling water, drain, then toss with the pasta, off heat. Top with crumbled goat cheese (I used a Sage Farm Goat Dairy goat cheese that I bought in Vermont that had Za’tar seasoning on top – delicious!) and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil.
If you’re in the Jersey Shore area and are looking for fresh pasta, check out two of my favorite places to visit: