Some of the strident sensory reminiscences from my childhood is of spending scalding summers in Woodstock, NY, sitting on the again porch and consuming pasta. My mother and I’d drive again to the town each week or two to go to Fairways on the Higher West Facet (incorrigible metropolis people; as a result of there was no grocery retailer upstate?). I’d wander the aisles, smelling the rinds of the cheeses by their wrappers, the brine of the olives of their open buckets, the scented coffees, and I appear to recollect semolina on the ground, however that could possibly be a bit of garnish added by reminiscence. Did we nip right down to Soho to cease at Raffetto’s for the ravioli and tortellini and pasta, or did we simply choose them up at Fairways? The many years have blurred the reality.
However what my mother did with these metropolis pastas was all upstate. Dedicated to natural produce since earlier than it was cool, she would take the bounty of basil and pulverize it to a pesto that radiates in my reminiscence as chlorophyll neon. On the cheese ravioli, the pesto was so mesmerizing, that any whiff of recent basil to today time-machines me again to that again porch at nightfall, with the sounds of the creek speeding additional down the mountain, the breeze within the sky-scraper leaves, and the bears lazing by the summer time brush. We might go to a farm stand, and purchase tomatoes, and purchase corn and pull again the husks and silk and gnaw it uncooked, and drink heat recent watermelon juice filled with seeds (it was the 80s). It’s my first and most unassailable reminiscence of summer time.
Now, I abhor summer time. I can’t make sense of its warmth, or the truth that the solar says it’s time to relaxation however the tempo of life says it’s time to work, or the oven that’s New York Metropolis. I at all times eagerly anticipate September. However the one summer time love I do keep, since that summer time in 1988, is the produce. Daily is a competition of tomatoes and melon and summer time squashes and cucumbers and inexperienced beans and corn. With the juice working down my chin and arms, it has all of the abundance and irreverence of Eden.
I’m spending this summer time within the metropolis. Which suggests quick access to Raffetto’s ravioli. (Not an advert, only a lifelong love affair!) However I couldn’t resist a farm stand sauce, with recent tomato flesh grated into an almost-raw sauce studded with barely cooked crisp recent corn and the requisite freshly torn basil. Nearly nearly as good as Maman’s pesto. I hope you strive it and it tastes of summer time.
“Upstate” Farm Stand Summer time Ravioli with Recent Tomato, Corn, and Basil
- 22 ounces of cheese ravioli (that is the Raffetto’s field of 48 medium ravioli; you possibly can ballpark this)
- 1 ear of corn, kernels faraway from the cob
- 2 beefsteak tomatoes
- A small handful of basil leaves
- Pecorino Romano, for garnish
Prepare dinner the ravioli in keeping with bundle directions. 2 minutes earlier than you drain them, add the corn kernels. Drain and put aside.
Whereas the ravioli is cooking, minimize the tomatoes in half throughout the equator. Utilizing the coarse aspect of a field grater positioned over a bowl, grate the flesh of the tomato. Magically, the flesh will grate and depart you simply the pores and skin, which you’ll be able to toss. Season the tomato flesh with salt.
After getting drained the ravioli and corn, add the tomato flesh to the identical, now empty, pot (no want to clean it). Prepare dinner over medium warmth for simply 1-2 minutes. Add within the ravioli and corn, and cook dinner one other minute to carry every thing collectively. Pour gently onto a serving platter and prime with Pecorino grated on prime and the basil freshly torn on prime of that.