Al Dente on the Side: CNY Regional Market Pasta Salad

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Saturday morning trips to the Central New York Regional Market started before I was in elementary school. My father would take me for an early morning run so he could get produce for the week. For my efforts as a well-behaved child, I would get popcorn, and the chance to tell my friends that I had popcorn for breakfast.

Vegetables were always a big part of our dinner table. What my grandfather didn’t grow on his land in Geddes (he did basically everything but lettuce, corn, onions and potatoes), we would get at the market.

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I don’t remember how old I was when the market trips stopped, but I restarted them with the birth of The Kid. I would take her, as a newborn, for a Saturday morning walk and shopping trip and give The Wife a chance to sleep in. I rediscovered the popcorn. I learned why there was always a weird fishy smell (because people sold fresh fish there). And, I opened the doors for myself to a legion of new vendors. I met Wake Robin Farms and fell in love with their cheeses. I was introduced to Flour City Pasta and became an apostle. I found Sunburst Farms of Moravia and the best damn green beans ever grown. And I think the greatest bacon of the world comes from pigs owned by Bostrom Farms.

2013-07-28 at 16-56-42Since the Celiac disease diagnosis, the market has been a boun. A handful of private bakers have set up shop, including The Cookie Connection and Deborah’s Sweet Treats, the latter of which my daughter adores (particularly the cinnamon bread).

And now the market is part of the weekly springtime/summertime routine, whether we need something or not. With that in mind, I offer you a pasta salad sourced almost completely at the market. I could have purchased the oil and vinegar at the market, but that didn’t make as much sense.

2013-07-28 at 17-06-51CNY Regional Market Pasta Salad
By Jared Paventi

2013-07-28 at 16-51-18Cook pasta in boiling salted water to al dente, approximately 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with water to stop cooking.

In the meantime, dice the cheese and tomatoes into small cubes and add to a large serving bowl. Finely chop the herbs with a sharp knife.

In a small mixing bowl, combine olive oil and vinegars with a pinch of salt. Whisk together to blend. Set aside.

Combine pasta with the cheese, tomatoes and herbs, and toss to mix. Drizzle oil and vinegar over the top and toss gently. Refrigerate at least one hour to chill completely.

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