Monday, 11 August 2008

GYO - Easy Peasy Summer Pasta

This is my favourite time for cooking. The tomatoes and peppers are ripening, the herbs are more than abundant and it is still light enough at night for hubby to bbq when he gets home from work.

I grow my veggies in pots along the fence line of my teeny-tiny house. That's where we get the best sun and I have learned the hard way that any veg that gets put into the ground will get eaten by something. I don't spray for pests of any kind so I have to just make it a little harder for them. Sweet peppers were too tempting for the critters so I only grow hot peppers. They seem to be pretty safe from insects of any kind.

In Southern Ontario we have a fairly short growing season. Our safe planting date is May 24th and we see first frost in October, generally. Of course, we are subject to the vagaries of nature which seem to be more and more unpredictable. I usually see my tomatoes ready by the 3rd week of August but due to some early summer heat - they are ready now. Yay!

My favourite way of serving my tomatoes, peppers and herbs is in a pasta. Sometimes I put the ingredients into a big bowl and pile the hot pasta in on top & toss, or other times I quickly heat them up in a big wok and toss the pasta in with them there.

Here is the dinner that I made last night. As it has anchovies in it, I cooked it in the wok to break them down. Anchovies are great for flavouring and when cooked this way are not at all fishy.

All the red ingredients are from my garden.

Easy Peasy Summer Pasta
1/2 large purple onion, sliced thin
1 can anchovies in olive oil, 50grams
3 hot banana peppers, cored and sliced
1 cayenne pepper, sliced thin
2 lbs mixed tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
juice of 1 lemon
large bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
pasta water
2 tsp capers
1/4 cup blue cheese

Put a big pot of water to boil. Salt liberally and cook 1 lb whole wheat pasta until just al dente.

Meanwhile - In a large wok -heat up oregano oil and saute onions briefly. Add anchovies, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Add hot peppers. When starting to soften, add tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Add cooked pasta and enough pasta water as you need to make pasta smooth. Toss with capers and parsley, adding more oregano oil if you wish. Adjust seasoning and turn out into large serving bowl topping with crumbled blue cheese, more capers and parsley leaves.

We served this with sliced bbqed steak that was marinated in oregano marinade.

This pasta comes together quite quickly and is up for a myriad of adjustments! Experiment.

This is my submission for GYO - Grow Your Own. A twice monthly celebration of home grown nutrition created by Andrea of Andrea's Recipes. This week's host is Jessica of Finny Knits. Click here for the round-up.