Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Quick Dinner

Hi there! Well, the dust has settled, the decorations and luggage have finally been put away, and the pictures are being ever so slowly decided on. T and I are man and wife, and I finally feel like life is back to normal. I'll have more pictures up soon for the wedding and honeymoon, but right now I thought I'd share my favorite quick meal of the summer, staring grape tomatoes and basil!

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!