While we weren't too ambitious with our garden care this summer, it's definitely given us some meals, and a whole lotta potatoes. Several times we've had nothing that I wanted to eat, then I realize I can walk out there and throw something together, usually pasta related.
This past Friday, I found myself in just that situation. Happily, there were still a whole big bunch of grape tomatoes left on the vine, due to my own inattention. This plant was an accidental purchase, but I've been so pleased with it. It was a huge producer, and perfect for my tomato needs. Anyway, I started by halving the 'maters, and getting some water on the boil.
I almost grabbed the store bought garlic when I remembered we had home grown, languishing away among the kitchen table clutter! This was another pleasant garden surprise, since I totally planted it at the wrong time (knowingly, I was just curious to see what would happen). Lo and behold, we actually grew a few heads of garlic. I'm planning on doing it the right way this fall, since it worked so well the wrong way.
It looks a little gnarly, I know, but it's good stuff! I chopped up a clove or two, and sauteed a few seconds in olive oil, along with a pat of for-real butter. I discovered recently this makes sauces yummy and rich, and you don't have to feel too bad about it, cause it's such a small amount! Once the garlic was toasty, I threw in the tomatoes, a little bit on onion, salt, pepper and some fresh thyme I had (also languishing) in the fridge.I let this cook away and soften the tomatoes for a few minutes, adding some dried thyme in the end, cause I just wanted a little more umph. All the while I cooked up some ditalini, cause I had it around, too. When everything was ready to go, I adding the pasta to the tomatoes, remembered I had some cubed ham in the fridge too, and hooray! Some mozzarella cheese!
So, I threw it in a bowl, let the cheese get melty, used some home grown basil for garnish and there ya go! D-licious, and no-lie, made from random stuff I had sitting around. (I hate recipes that claim to be from things everyone has sitting around their kitchen, but they're never things I happen to have.)
The great thing about this one is how you can kind of rotate different ingredients in and out...well, except the tomatoes and garlic, I guess. But any kind of herb, protein or cheese would be just as good. And since I could eat pasta practically every day, this recipe couldn't make me happier!