(Not-Fried) Green Tomatoes Pasta Sauce

August in Nashville and we are all enjoying ripe, juicy colorful tomatoes from our gardens, but soon, very soon, the weather will change and the vines will have lots of end-of-the-season green tomatoes hanging on. There are many recipe for using green tomatoes. Pickled, fried, jammed and juiced, but this late summer/early fall green tomato pasta sauce is another to add to your list of what to do with those late, we-are-never-turning-red green tomatoes.

A few green tomatoes chopped and sautéed, a quick multi-herb pesto, lots of parmigiana-reggiano…everything mixed and quickly cooked together. Served over a sturdy noodle such as Bucatini with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt…in a half hour you’ll have a pasta dish to celebrate green tomatoes, not fried.

Tossed with noodles and generous grating of parmigiana-reggiano…..and a slightly chilled glass of Italian Red might be a little bit of heaven on a late summer evening. Go ahead, fry, pickle and jam all you like, but do try this recipe and let me know what you think.

It’s August, time is flying, soon it will happen, those lonely little green tomatoes waiting to be celebrated and praised like their ripe red friends on the vine. Hangers-on one and all. Be ready, be creative, eat them.

(Not-Fried) Green Tomatoes Pasta Sauce

Ingredients:

For the Pesto- 1/4 cup each fresh basil leaves, parsley, arugula and mint + 2 garlic cloves + juice of half a lemon + olive oil + salt and pepper and 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano.

a drizzle of olive oil

6 medium to large green tomatoes, cored and chopped

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1 lb Bucatini or Spaghetti noodles

extra grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for topping servings

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  2. While waiting…in a food processor pulse together the basil leaves, parsley, arugula, mint and garlic cloves, and lemon juice, leaving chunky. Drizzle in some olive oil (I like a less oily pesto, but use what you like) and pulse. Add in salt, pepper and Parmigiano-Reggiano and pulse a few more times to blend. Scrape pesto out into a bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large saute pan set over medium high heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and the chopped green tomatoes. Toss to coat the tomatoes and saute, stirring, for 8 minutes. Pour in the broth. Add salt and black pepper. Bring to a low boil, turn heat to simmer, stirring often until liquid is reduced by half. When tomatoes begin to soften, sprinkle in the 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and toss to coat well. Add the pesto to the hot sauce, stirring until well mixed. Cover and keep sauce warm until pasta is cooked.
  4. When water comes to a boil, add in the Bucatini and cook just until al dente. Drain well.
  5. Serve pasta in bowls topped with the sauce and more grated cheese. A good Italian red or white will bring this meal together.

This recipe is based on a Mario Batali recipe from years and years ago. I made some changes to make it even better.

teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

Garden-Grown Green Peas, Crisp Bacon & Parmesan Pasta for a Late Spring Dinner

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I have been traveling (check out my Instagram for photos on where) for a couple of weeks and away from my kitchen…lots of eating, but no cooking. Many recipe ideas are crammed into my brain from the trip and after some experimentation I hope to share some of those with you in later posts…a similar but not-creamed spinach dish topped with goat cheese that was sublime….a light-as-air three-layered dessert using sponge cake, whipped cream and phyllo dough…gnocchi-like noodles with a simple beef stew…chard chopped and sautéed in olive oil & garlic….oh my!

But for today…..peas and pasta.

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A few weeks ago I picked my solo crop of green peas from my little garden and this is the easy dish I made, “Garden-Grown Green Peas, Crisp Bacon & Parmesan Tossed with Pasta”, a Carbonara riff.

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 A cool, sunny spring with just the right amount of rain gave my pea plants an extra boost and within a month or so I had vines laden with plump green peas! I was pretty thrilled as fresh peas have always been a favorite of mine.

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The hot pasta was tossed in a quick sauce of chicken stock with a splash of cream, sea salt & black pepper for a leaner version of a classic Carbonara-style dish.  I quickly added the steamed green peas, crispy lean bacon & a generous amount of shredded parmesan cheese. Bon Apetit!

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Garden-Grown Green Peas, Crisp Bacon & Parmesan Cheese Pasta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb fettucine or spaghetti noodles (regular or gluten-free) cooked, saving 1 cup of hot pasta water
  • 1 cup chicken stock, low-fat
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 cup fresh green peas (or frozen) quickly steamed in microwave
  • 8 slices crisp bacon
  • 1 cup shredded good quality Parmesan cheese
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. In a deep stock pot over low heat toss cooked pasta, pasta water, chicken stock, cream and salt & black pepper until noodles are hot and coated with sauce.
  2. Portion into 4 bowls and top each serving with peas, bacon and a generous portion of cheese. Top with additional black pepper. Serve immediately.

This dish is fresh, quick and very good for a spring dinner after a long day at work served with a crisp, cold, dry white wine.

teresablackburnfoodstyling.com      www.foodonfifth.com

Pesto & Poetry – “Emerald Pesto Tossed with Trotolle Pasta”

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Have you ever made deep-of-summer pesto? Do you ever sit and sip and read poetry on a warm night?

Many years ago I discovered my love of both and as I made pesto a few days ago using the emerald-green basil from our garden I remembered how much I love the prose-like poetry of Diane Wakoski. Especially a book of her poems entitled “Emerald Ice”. The selection above is from the first few lines of the first poem in this collection.

So here is a quick pesto using deep-green Basil leaves, a bit of sassy-green Arugula and the slightest-green pistachios. Tossed with a hearty & hollow Trotolle pasta…the pesto seeping onto and into the noodles…edible poetry!

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A few handfuls of Basil leaves & Arugula, fresh lime juice, shelled pistachios & a good olive oil is all you need.

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Emerald green pesto……

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…tossed with some al dente Trotolle, also called “spins” as they look like little spinning tops. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan. This is pretty much…along with love…all you need.

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Emerald Pesto tossed with Trottole Pasta

  • Servings: 2-4
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Ingredients:

  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves
  • 1 handful fresh arugula leaves
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 8 to 12 ounces Trottole pasta noodles cooked al dente (or any other short pasta)
  • additional shredded Parmesan cheese to top
  • salt &  black pepper optional (the lime juice and Parmesan will add a natural saltiness)

Directions:

  1. Place the pistachios in a food processor and pulse a few times.
  2. Add basil and arugula leaves. Pulse again 2 or 3 times.
  3. Add Parmesan and lime juice and pulse.
  4. With the processor running quickly drizzle in olive oil to your liking.
  5. Scrape finished pesto out of the processor bowl into a jar. Toss some of the pesto with hot, cooked & drained Trottole pasta. Scatter additional Parmesan cheese over the top of each serving and enjoy. Salt & pepper if desired.

Store any leftover pesto in a jar in the refrigerator or freezer for later use. I usually make extra while I am at it and freeze small jars for winter dishes.