Farmer's Camo Pasta

falldinnerI’m not a big hunter. My brother-in-law, cousins, uncle and friends make up for my lack of time spent in a deer stand or duck blind… But, I do love camo – it is surprisingly chic mixed with denim and I’ve seen it sported fashionably (albeit unknowingly) by many a gentleman in The South… and even a lady or two.

As hunting season waxes down here, I couldn’t help but be reminded of a favorite fall dish – my Camo Pasta. This pasta, mixed with Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale and mushrooms is about as fatigue-fashioned as they come. Even the whole wheat noodles join in the camo color scheme.

All melded together, this combo makes for a delicious fall supper and I even love it better the next day – which so many things find themselves better. It is better the next day in my leather chair and Netflix binge-watching… which is where you’ll find me enjoying this dish over the deer stand I’m afraid - ha! 

Here’s to autumn, its colors and hues and flavors – all mixed together in a pasta dish ready for the hunt. Add wild game or chicken or shrimp to your liking. Enjoy y’all!

Camo Pasta

1 box of whole wheat spaghetti or Angel Hair pasta
1 red onion, chopped
Olive oil
3 cups of white wine
About a pound of mushrooms, sliced
About a pound or less of Brussels sprouts, halved
1 head of cauliflower, sliced into florets and then sliced further
About a dozen whole garlic cloves
3-4 cups of kale, shredded or torn leaves
1 heaping cup of freshly grated mozzarella
Salt and pepper to taste

On a baking sheet or roasting pan, spread the cauliflower and Brussels sprouts and drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast at 415 for about 15 minutes or until they are golden brown. I love the nuttiness that roasting these veggies creates. Don’t crowd the pan – use a couple pans if need be and keep an eye out on them. A little bit of butternut squash or sweet potato is good roasted too and adds a bit of sweetness.

Cook the pasta according to instructions – always salt the water and add a splash of olive oil too.

In a heavy bottom Dutch oven or large pan, brown the onion in some olive oil and butter. I always go by what Mimi said: “Oil for temperature, butter for flavor.” The butter will be a part of the sauce so a good half stick works just fine. Season the onion with salt and pepper.

Once the onion begins to brown, add the garlic cloves and mushrooms. I like to get said ingredients browned quite well – their flavor is much more intense when sautéed to a golden brown. Plus, the garlic cloves get soft and sweet – a great complement in this savory dish. Season with salt and pepper at this step too. I season with the layers of ingredients.

Combine the browned veggies with the roasted veggies and add the wine. Allow the wine to deglaze the pan and reduce by at least a third. This wine with the deglazed bits and butter is your sauce.

Add the kale and allow the kale to cook (which it will rather quickly) in the wine sauce.

In a baking dish, thoroughly combine the veggies and pasta and sprinkle with the mozz – bake until melted and slightly browned. Enjoy!


James T. Farmer III was born and raised in Georgia, where he continues to live and work as a landscape designer. He shares his love of food, flowers and photography on his blog All Things Farmer.