It’s 4 p.m. on Saturday. The restaurant is in “controlled chaos” and that’s a good thing. I am portioning out mozzarella cheese curds for dinner service with my longtime assistant when I get a text.
I look at my phone and it’s my friend, attorney by day and tomato farmer by night Sky Kurlbaum. The text reads: Spring onions, what do you think? Do you need some? Along with the text is a photo of the most beautiful, fresh harvested spring green onions.
I replied: Seriously? Yes, beautiful. For sure and within 20 minutes, Sky brings a bag full of over 25 pounds of spring onions into my kitchen. We have a brief discussion because he has more deliveries to my friend and chef Michael Smith.
I immediately take one of my cooks off the prep line to assist me in cleaning the spring onions. Within minutes we have them on the grill and I’m thinking of how I’m going to serve these babies.
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I look around my kitchen and I see olive oil, fresh garlic and then I glance to my side and see one of my cooks stirring some linguine.
Ahhhhh … a dish is born. So simple. After I grill the onions, I toss them in a sauté pan with extra-virgin olive oil, red chili pepper flakes and some fresh garlic.
I cook for just a few minutes, add the fresh cooked pasta, some sea salt and toss. Within minutes I have a simple pasta dish, so easy and so delicious. It’s now 4:30 p.m. and just in time for the kitchen staff meal. We will all enjoy before the rush hits.
I take a photo of the pasta and I immediately send it to Sky. He replies back that the pasta and spring onions give a whole new meaning to “from farm to table.” I can’t agree more.
I guess I never realized how lucky I am to have friends and farmers dropping off just-harvested produce to my back door at Jasper’s Ristorante.
And this, my friends, is just the beginning of the season. Just yesterday I received a text and video from Sky of his wife and sister-in-law planting more than 3,500 heirloom tomato plants.
It’s going to be a wonderful spring and summer. I cannot wait. I hope you enjoy the pasta recipe.
It really is easy and the flavors are unbelievable. Truly farm to table! Grazie, Sky, you don’t realize how many people you made happy.
Spring Onion Pasta
4 bunches spring onions
1 pound linguini
1 cup extra virgin Olive Oil
4-6 cloves garlic sliced thin
1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
Salt to taste
Romano cheese for dusting
Fire up the grill. Drizzle spring onions with a little oil. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
Cook pasta until al dente. Put a large sauté pan on medium heat and add olive oil. Add onions and sauté with garlic and red chili peppers. It should take only 2 to 3 minutes. Do not brown garlic. Add pasta and salt. Toss. Serve immediately. Dust with Romano.
Chef Jasper J. Mirabile Jr. of Jasper’s runs his family’s 62-year-old restaurant with his brother. Mirabile is a culinary instructor, founding member of Slow Food Kansas City and a national board member of the American Institute of Wine and Food. He is host to many famous chefs on his weekly radio show “Live! From Jasper’s Kitchen” on KCMO 710 AM and 103.7 FM. He also sells dressings and sauces.