Farro Pasta with Corn, Cherry Tomatoes, and Toasted Garlic

Farro Pasta with Corn, Cherry Tomatoes, and Toasted Garlic

‘Member how I picked up some buckwheat flour at the farmers’ market? Well, at this weekend’s market I discovered that the same vendor now carries freshly made whole-grain pastas. The buckwheat soba was sold out by the time I arrived, but what was still available intrigued me even more: farro fettuccine. I added it to my haul, along with sungold tomatoes, corn, herbs, lettuces, baby bok choy, red peppers, spaghetti squash, Japanese eggplant, baby zucchini the size of my forefinger, apples, pears, and what I suspect may be the last of the peaches. (Is that a perfect late summer/early fall combination, or what?)

All day long I daydreamed about how I’d use the pasta. I knew it would be a vegetarian dish, since four days at the Greenbrier had left me craving light, simple, nearly-untouched food. Come late afternoon, I still wasn’t sure what I’d do with it, but images of corn kernels and cherry tomatoes were floating to the forefront. Raw, perhaps—I’ve had good luck with raw pasta sauces this summer. I pictured handfuls of finely chopped herbs, little speckles of green to break up the yellowish hues of pasta, corn, and tomatoes. But should there be onions, or garlic, or both? Stephen voted for garlic alone, so that’s what I did—but I thought a little crunch might be a nice thing, so I sliced it super-thin and toasted it in olive oil, which I then used for the sauce.

Because there’s so little actual cooking, dinner was ready in about 20 minutes. It was a lovely capper to a gorgeous end-of-summer day.

Farro Pasta with Corn, Cherry Tomatoes, and Toasted Garlic
Serves 6
Weight Watchers: one serving is 5 points, without the Parm

1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 ears corn, shucked
several handfuls of fresh herbs (I used flat-leaf parsley, basil, and mint)
salt & pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic
12 ounces fresh farro (or other whole-grain) pasta
grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

  1. Put a large pot of salted water, covered, on to boil.
  2. While you’re waiting, prep the vegetables: Quarter the cherry tomatoes. Cut the kernels off the corn. Finely chop the herbs. Transfer all to a large serving bowl, sprinkle with salt & pepper, and stir.
  3. Put the olive oil in a small skillet and heat over a low flame. Slice the garlic cloves as thinly as possible and add to the oil. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the garlic is just turning golden, then remove from the heat—the garlic will continue to toast for another minute or two. When they’re lightly browned, removed the garlic slices from the pan with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl, reserving a small handful for garnish. Set the oil aside to cool.
  4. By now the water should be boiling. Cook the pasta according to package directions, and reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water before draining the pasta and transferring to the bowl. Add the oil to the bowl and toss well. If it seems dry, add a splash at a time of the cooking water until you’re happy. Taste, and add more salt & pepper if you think it needs it.
  5. Serve with grated Parmesan, topped with the reserved toasted garlic.