May 25, 2011

A Quick Herby Pasta & Garden Variety Wednesday # 6 (link up)

Garden Variety Wednesday link up below.

School's out.  And it's getting hot outside.

That means I'm looking for fast, easy dishes.  Things that cook quickly and don't heat up the house too much.  Things that don't take too long to cook.  Because I'd rather be sweating out in the yard than sweating standing over the stove. 

And if I can use a bunch of stuff from my garden in the process...even better.

This week I have another herby pasta.  I know.  More pasta.  More herbs.  Enough!  But pasta is something I usually turn too for a quick, no fuss meal.  When GVW resumes on June 8, I promise to have something completely diferent.

That good looking dish is Jamie Oliver's Summer Tomato Fusilli.  It was quick.  Easy.  Used a bunch of stuff from my garden.  I live in an older house with no dishwasher, so I also liked that the dishes were kept to a minimum. 

The sauce is made in the serving bowl set over your pasta pot as a heat source.  Very cool.  Although, if your bowl is tight-fitting, beware of possible spillover as the water boils.  Not that I'd know anything about that.  The herby balsamic-butter sauce is flavorful but light.  The recipe is versatile too.  Change up the herbs.  Add in garlic and/or some kind of veggies.  The olives are listed as optional, but I really wouldn't skip them.  Unless you don't like olives.

Before moving on to the recipe and link up, I have to mention Joplin, MO.  I called Joplin home for almost 5 years before moving back to Louisiana.  While Joplin and I were not a good fit, I met some stand-up people there.  People I think about often even though I don't keep in touch all that well.  People I care about.  Some, I have heard from.  They may be bruised physically and emotionally.  They may be carless and homeless.  But they are okay.  Or will be given some time.  A few...we're still left hanging.  Particularly The Boy's old doctor and his family who live in one of the hardest hit areas.  We lived across the street from them when we first moved to Joplin.  He made a house call when I was sick with the flu.  His oldest daughter brought us a plate of cookies when we moved in.  She took care of my child now and then.  I can't help but think of all the times they offered their basement to us yahoos from Louisiana who were scared to death each and every time the tornado sirens sounded.  I hope that basement protected them. 


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Summer Tomato Pasta
from Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver

1 lb fusilli
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
6 Tbsp butter, cubed
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
a large bunch of soft herbs (basil, marjoram, parsley, thyme, oregano), leaves picked--a few baby leaves reserved, the rest roughly chopped
1 1/4 lb cherry tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil
a block of Parmesan for grating

Pour some water from a kettle into a pan over the heat and add the pasta and some salt.  Place a large metal or earthenware bowl over the top of the pot.  Put butter, balsamic vinegar, and chopped herbs in the bowl and warm until the butter melts.  Now squeeze in the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, then remove the bowl from the pan and put to one side.  Give pasta a stir.

When the pasta is cooked according to the package instructions, drain it in a colander, reserving some of the cooking water.  Tip the pasta into the bowl with the tomatoes and stir.  Drizzle with a good glug of olive oil, loosen with some of the pasta water if need be.  Sprinkle over the reserved baby herb leaves.  Serve with a block of Parmesan for grating.  Lovely with olives thrown in.

Garden Variety Wednesday # 6

Ms. enPlace

Made a dish with something you nurtured in your garden?
Maybe a neighbor stopped by and shared some of his/her harvest?
Have baskets of goodies from a pick-your-own farm?
Found some treasures at your local farmer's market?

Link up here!

* In your post, link back to Ms. enPlace or grab a Garden Variety Wednesday button and add it to your post.
* Link your post--not your home page.
* Please, one link per person.
* Since growing seasons differ so much even across the US, old/archived posts are welcome, but please edit with a link back or a button.
* Have fun visiting other blogs!

See side bar for GVW #1-5.

Garden Variety Wednesday schedule:

June 8 & June 22
July 13 & July 27
August 10 & August 24

Past August...up to Mother Nature and if participation picks up

This week, I'm linking up with:
I Heart Cooking Clubs--Mad About Herbs
Make a Food-"e"-Friend Monday #14 @ The Saturday Evening Pot
Tuesdays at the Table @ All The Small Stuff
Hearth and Soul vol 49 @ A Moderate Life
Delectable Tuesday @ Home Sweet Farm
Made it on Monday #11 @ Lark's Country Heart
Tip Day Thursday @ Around My Family Table
What's Cooking Thursday @ Feeding Four
Potluck Friday @ EKat's Kitchen
Foodie Friday @ Little Brick Ranch
Presto Pasta Nights # 215 hosted by Trish of My Slap Happy Kitchen
Seasonal Saturday @ la bella vita
Cookbook Sundays @ Mom's Sunday Cafe


  1. It sounds like summer is in full swing down there. I love the shot of all the produce and herbs in your garden basket and I also love this recipe with all the herbs and the balsamic. It looks wonderful!

    I'm sorry to hear that you haven't heard from the doctor and his family. So sad what's happened both in Joplin, as well as so many other places down south this season. I have a whole new fear of tornadoes and flooding now.

  2. I also love the shot of all the produce and herbs in your garden basket. Such a lovely pasta salad and I am excited to have it be part of PPN #215!

  3. Your pasta looks so fresh and really full of flavor. It is a great looking dish!

  4. Thank you, Kim, Trish, and Carol.

    Update: I was able to contact the family I was searching for. Their house is gone, but they are fine. Before and after images of the neighborhood I lived in when we first moved to Joplin (to the right of the high school, which is in the center of the image):,0,2395484.htmlstory

    Can find no words to describe.

  5. During hot Summer days, I crave cool Pasta salads. And this looks to be a great one.

    Thanks for linking up!

  6. It will be a while before hot summer makes its way to Halifax Nova Scotia, but I'll bookmark this delicious recipe for when it finally does. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

  7. Yum! Your garden has me GREEN with envy.

  8. All of these natural disasters have been crazy! I hope your friends in Joplin are okay!

    This pasta looks delicious. Love how simple and herby it is!

  9. What a great dish, especially for those lucky enough to have a backyard garden! Thanks for sharing with the Hearth n Soul this week!

  10. I keep everyone in Joplin and all of the places hard hit by storms and flood in my thoughts. I hope you friends are all OK.

    This does look like an easy and delicious pasta dish and perfect for the warm weather. Great pick! ;-)

  11. It's beautiful and it looks great. Better than in his book, even :-) I'll have to try it when my tomatoes grow in my garden.

  12. Hi, sharing an older post, because I just realized we don't eat enough vegetable in recipes, just cook and dish up. I might have to change things around here, just a little! Thanks for hosting.

  13. Sorry I'm so late, been a busy week and forgot to link up when Wednesday rolled around!

  14. Just linked up Banana-Berry Smoothies. Thanks for hosting!

  15. Perfect summer fare - light and tasty and fresh!

    I am sorry to hear about your friends. Very frightening. I hope they are all okay.

  16. I love everything about this dish - it is my idea of the perfect, summer pasta meal. I love anything that can basically be made in one dish - and the warming and melting of the butter with the balsamic vinegar over the pasta pot is genius.

    I do hope that eventually you are able to get news of your friends, and I hope that they are all ok. My thoughts are with you and all the people of Joplin.

    Sue xo

  17. THE pasta sound amazing, wish i could have some right now. And just bring on those warm sunny summer days, this would be à great meal choice.

  18. I have not forgot you.....I just now am getting my garden in. (It snowed in Reno over the weekend--very unusual, but it's been a cold spring out west)


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