Monday, July 18, 2011

HEAT! and a versatile pasta recipe to keep your kitchen cool.

How is it this hot?

Hopefully everyone is keeping cool as we toil away growing vegetables. Surely the sweat dripping off my brow is good for those pea plants :)

Thank you Mike for visiting us and snapping
some lovely photos!
(Photo courtesy Mike Berkowitz)
So what have we grown this week? Another goody from the hoophouse, summer carrots, and one of the best flavors of summer, basil, are the new comers to the share this week. For week five the members will enjoy the following: Head Lettuce, Braising Mix, Cauliflower, Carrots, Parsley, Snow Peas, Kale or Chard, Basil, and Pac Choi.

Harvest day is always rewarding. It's fun to gather the fruits of one's labor, but I am especially looking forward to harvesting the basil for the shares this week. The smell is heavenly. There is nothing I like better than the lingering perfume that follows me after I've harvested dozens of basil stems. Mmm...

The Hoophouse Basils
The basil on the left is Genovese. On the right is Thai basil, which is possibly the only thing in the world that smells better than Genovese basil. Members will receive one or the other variety this week. It won't be enough basil for a batch of pesto but it will be more than enough for the following meal, based on a recipe in Nigel Slater's "Real Fast Food". Either Thai or Genovese basil will work well in this recipe.

Pasta with Peas, Basil, and Pecans

This recipe, like many in Nigel's book, is meant to be quick, delicious and serve only two. It could easily be doubled to serve more. I wanted to share this particular recipe because it is a great basic starting point to play off of. The combination of nutty pecans, sweet snow peas, and aromatic basil is not the only one that could be paired with pasta in this way. The same technique could be used with walnuts, baby beets, and rosemary, or even pepitas, sweet potatoes, and sage (though in that case I'd opt for butter instead of olive oil).
  • 1/3 cup pecan pieces
  • Dried pasta for two, he calls for fettuccine but any pasta you like will work
  • 1 large handful snow peas, sliced into half inch pieces
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 8-10 basil leaves, torn to shreds
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  1. Toast the pecan pieces in a dry pan over medium heat until they are very fragrant. It shouldn't take more than five minutes.
  2. Put a pan of water to boil for the pasta, make the pasta according to the directions on the box.
  3. In the meantime, add the olive oil, snow peas, basil, and salt and pepper to taste to the pan. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the peas are tender. Again, this probably won't take more than five minutes.
  4. Drain the pasta and toss it with the pecans and peas.


  1. This is a test comment. A few people have mentioned that their comments are not posting, so I am checking it out. Anyone else have problems?

  2. Recipe looks awesome - am going to try it with some shredded pac choi added - hope it cools off up there!

  3. Hey, the comments are back :) Thanks Beverly!