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Lemon Cream Pasta and a Mystery Squash

Posted Aug 11 2010 3:00am

Now that I've finished rhapsodizing about last weekend's farmers' market trip, I can tell you about our most recent farmers' market outing! This was Zach's first visit to our local farmers' market, and he found some truly unique and exciting selections, including these fabulously spicy barbecue sauces!

The owner of the sauce company was a great salesman in the best possible way, and even named the sauces after his mother-in-law, Mae! So sweet!

We also brought home a tub of avocado salsa verde, which recollected Trader Joe's glorious avocado salsa verde too much resist, especially since we had leftover carne asada at home just awaiting a new batch of salsa verde!

For veggies, we restocked our onions (I still can't quite believe how much more flavor these locally grown onions have than the ordinary grocery store onions!),

picked up the mandatory eggplant for the week (our household cannot allow a week to eclipse without some form of eggplant dish),

succumbed to the temptations of okra (I am exceedingly fond of this often under-appreciated, cheery little vegetable),

and discovered a new variety of early winter squash! If anyone knows the name of this big lumpy squash, please do tell... :-) I thought it might be a Kobocha, but it seems far too orange-spotted and bumpy?

The squash is a mystery on many factors, indeed, for while I already have plans to fix Zach's favorite sweet and sour eggplant and our beloved dry okra, our plans for the squash still remain undiscovered! I'm sure something spontaneous and delightful will emerge...

In the further spirit of all things fresh, light, and pure, such as farmers' market veggies and summer recipes alike, I was recently reminded of how much I adore Vegetarian Times magazine while reading a recent post from wonderful Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe , in which she makes a splendid version of a VT Carrot and Fennel Soup , which simultaneously brought to mind how I've been gazing dreamily at the cover recipe from this most recent VT issue ever since it arrived in my mailbox. And thus, while basting both ribs and tempeh with our new barbecue sauce and readying the grill, I pulled a pasta pot from its home cupboard and whipped up this light, lemony delight... The perfect, refreshing partner for the rich, spicy barbecue!

I should also add that my initial, spontaneous reaction to tasting this pasta dish was to exclaim: "Oh my goodness, this is one of the best things I've ever tasted..."

Lemon Cream Pasta

(Adapted from Vegetarian Times, September 2010)

8 oz whole wheat angel hair pasta
1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water
4 oz light cream cheese
2 T olive oil
Juice from 1 freshly squeezed lemon
Zest from 1 lemon
1/4 cup minced parsley

~ Cook the whole wheat pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.
~ In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together the cream cheese, olive oil, and lemon juice until warmed.
~ Whisk the reserved pasta cooking water into the cream cheese mixture.
~ Pour the cream cheese mixture over the pasta, add the lemon zest and parsley, and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve warm!

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