Yesterday was busy! Early morning prepping for Roblin Farmer's Market, then head off with the three littles to the Farmer's Market. Had a fabulous time there; I love my fellow vendors and we had a bonus booth visit from my sister and her kids. The vendors have such a camaraderie, laugh a lot, visit back and forth and ooo over each other's offerings. I come away feeling refreshed and hopeful. Anyway, travel back home, unpack. Do some website/online shop research which can be boggy work at best for non-techies like myself. And then start supper, quickly because suddenly you realize it's almost time for a potential cow-buyer to arrive and help you with some downsizing.
At a loss, with no meat at the ready, this quick meal came together. Luckily, I had some cauliflower, baby carrots and garlic scapes still in my Farmer's Market cooler. The garlic scapes came from Snoetic Farm near Boggy Creek, MB who offer a diverse line of garlic. Beautiful garlic types impossible to choose between! The long slender scapes happen when warm summer weather begins to make the garlic bolt, pushing up tall curlicues in an effort to produce seeds for the next generation.
Phew! Dodged the perpetual afternoon question of "What should I make for supper?" It was leaning toward some unsatisfactory, guilt-ridden supper-from-a-can potential. During the week I avoid can/box cooking as the weekdays are not quite so packed with big, huge projects. Saturdays are work, work, work until dusk kind of days. Grass-cutting, garden touch-ups, cows, wood-cutting, shed cleaning, basement cleaning, painting, washing walls, canning. You name it, we got some kind of doom-inducing task scheduled for Saturday. I know, I know....you can all be jealous, starting now. I don't mind, I would be jealous too! Ha! Especially now you armed with the knowledge can-cooking or leftovers are typical Saturday supper fare. Double jealousy now, right??
I digress, supper needed making. Time was tight and there were few ingredients. Out comes the trusty spaghetti box. Out comes a pot, filled with water, and set to boil. And then out comes the food chopper. Are you ready?
Wash all vegetables. Put two pans to heat on stove; Medium should do it. Put about twelve baby carrots in the food chopper. Push button and watch them whirl, stopping when they are 1-2 mm size bits.
Cut cauliflower into bite-sized pieces, or slightly larger if you are really pressed for time. Sometimes it's much faster to let the eaters do the work of cutting and slicing once the food is on their plates. It's my lazy interpretation of "many hands make light work". But do cut it up a bit. You can't expect a whole head of cauliflower to sautee very well. Find your happy medium.
Drizzled heated pans with olive oil. Chopped carrot goes in one pan. In goes the cauliflower to the second pan; maybe sprinkle some rosemary on it. Don't forget to give a quick peek to the heating pasta water. Add spaghetti noodles once it is boiling water. Whilst the carrot, cauliflower and spaghetti cook in their respective pots and pans, stirring every so often, put the garlic scapes in the chopper.
When I was doing some earlier reading, garlic scape flavour was described by some as being more muted than garlic cloves. Perhaps. It will still sit you back some, especially if you are not connected to some garlic loving food culture. The ratio of carrots to scapes therefore depends entirely on your personal preference. For us, in many ways, the local/familial food culture revolves around usturoi. So I chose lots of scapes.
At this point, I ducked out of the kitchen as our cattle customer stopped in. My husband (love that man!) stepped in and took over. You can probably keep cooking if you prefer; no need to switch cooks, unless you would like to. Your call.
At any rate, whirl the scapes in the food chopper, until they are approximately the same size as the carrots. The carrots are likely a little softened at this point. Remove the carrots from the pan, set aside, drizzle some more olive oil in the pan and sautee the scapes. Saute long enough to soften the flavour but not so long as to lose that lovely bright green colour.
Drain the spaghetti, reserving a bit of the pasta water, and place in a large serving bowl. Here I drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil, and add a tablespoon or two of the pasta water. Stir it through the cooked pasta.
Now, if you need to, you can keep the pasta warm by covering it with a tea towel. You can take the scapes off heat, give a stir. Keep the carrots and cauliflower warm. Head outside to help your wife and kids move cattle into the loading pen. Select said cow calf pair and load in trailer. Give a wave as truck and trailer head down driveway. Turn and go back to the kitchen to give everything a little reheat. Things luckily went 75% smoothly so it's not too cold. Smiles for everyone!.
Toss the pasta with the scapes and carrot. Grate copious amounts of parmesan cheese over noodles. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Have your children set table while you reheat and assemble. Sit down together, be thankful for the busy day and the energy and working body to do it all. Be thankful for the help of family. Be thankful for friends at the market. Be thankful for a full belly. Eat. Clean up. Baths for the children. Husband heads out the door to help friends find a house to move into (i.e.. an active recruiting method for new children for our school). A good day.