If you've spent much time at Andrea Crawford's farmers market stall, likely drooling over her whole wheat boules or stocking up on more of Kenter Canyon Farms' Sonora flour, you may be forgiven for overlooking the boxes of pasta. It's difficult to think clearly when you're standing in a crowd eating a whole baguette for breakfast, isn't it.
But Crawford, her husband and business partner Robert Dedlow, and their team also make pasta with the wheat and buckwheat they grow and mill up in Hollister. Which I guess makes the Wednesday Santa Monica and Sunday Hollywood farmers markets, the only two markets they go to, even more of a one-stop shop than it was already. Lucky us.
Kenter makes their thick strands of rough dried pasta — the sandpaper texture means that the stuff holds nicely when sauced— in two kinds right now. There's a fettuccine made from Sonora wheat, the same stuff that they sell in bags of flour nearby and that also makes outstanding pancakes. And there's a pizzoccheri, a buckwheat pasta made from stoneground whole grain buckwheat, durum and hard white wheat flour. Both pastas are made from only flour and water — no salt or any other ingredients.
Crawford says that they introduced the pastas in July, and plan on making them into shapes in the future (wagon wheels!). For now the medium-wide noodles are a good standard, the sort of pasta you can boil up quickly at home and combine with a bowl full of chopped ripe tomatoes and basil, good olive oil and some Maldon salt for a very simple farm-to-market-to-table meal.
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Crawford suggests cooking the pasta in boiling water for about four minutes, then pretty much doing what you want with it. She likes to pair her buckwheat pasta — which, like soba, is high in protein — with kale and radicchio, some butter and olive oil and a sprinkle of chile flakes. Although this might also be because there's usually plenty of radicchio handy at Maggie's Farm, the stall that her son Nathan runs next to her own stall at the Wednesday market. (See: one-stop shopping.)