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From Farm to Table, Lemon Pepper Pasta with Asparagus

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We live a charmed life in Southern California. With a huge number of farmers markets and a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs popping up, mega grocery stores like Ralphs and Vons are feeling less and less like a necessity. At least in my own personal experience, since concentrating most all of my home food purchases on the CSAs and farmers markets, I'm spending less and enjoying food more.

Taking a cue from Chef Alice Waters' The Art of Simple Food, I'm cooking with simplicity in mind. "Plan uncomplicated meals," she wrote. "Let things taste of what they are. Enjoy cooking as a sensory pleasure: touch, listen, watch, smell, and, above all, taste. Taste as you go. Keep tasting and keep practicing and discovering."

With that, one meal this week turned out amazingly well. With asparagus, garlic and lemon from the CSA California, pasta bought at the Studio City Farmers Market and olive oil, salt and pepper already in the cupboads, an excellent meal was ready in 10 minutes. Cut the asparagus and steam it for three to five minutes. Boil the pasta for two minutes. Sautee garlic in olive oil (use Jaden Hair's method of cooking garlic to get the most taste out of it). Toss all three together, squeeze a half lemon and dash salt and pepper on top. If you happen to grow basil (and perhaps cherry tomatoes) on your window sill, that might be a nice addition, too. Enjoy!