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Dinner from the Garden

One of the best things about summer is the bounty of fresh vegetables! My kids and I plant a small garden each spring with some of our favorites: green beans, tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, and a variety of herbs. We also grow some of our vegetables in pots because we have limited space in our urban backyard. My kids love to run to the garden and pick the ingredients I need for a recipe.

By the end of the summer, our little garden is producing vegetables faster than we can eat them. We make the surplus veggies into salsa, marinara sauce, and pesto. I also try to make recipes that include many fresh vegetables.

One recipe my family likes is Bow Tie Pasta & Beans. The recipe uses three summer vegetables (tomatoes, green beans, and onions) and one kid-friendly herb, basil. It is a simple, light, healthy, and refreshing pasta dish.

To get started, cook the bow tie pasta, drain, and rinse with cold water (I want the pasta to stop cooking while I prepare the remainder of the recipe).

Next, chop the onions. I try to cut them pretty small, my kids don’t like to eat them if they are in big chunks.

Wash and dry the basil leaves - just rinse them under cold water and pat dry with a clean towel or paper towel. Don’t use a salad spinner for fresh basil, it’s a fragile herb.

Chop the basil leaves into thin strips.

After you melt the butter in the pan, add the chopped onions and basil. Let them cook for a few minutes.

Add the green beans (the recipe says to cut the green beans in half, I had to cut my beans in thirds and fourths because they were so big). Cook them until heated through, usually about 5-6 minutes.

After the beans are heated, add the pasta, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the tomatoes and pasta are heated through.

The last step in the recipe is to add freshly grated Parmesan cheese. I use a handy tool called a Microplane (it started out as a woodworking tool and now it’s used in cooking). It grates Parmesan cheese beautifully and is easy to use and clean.

Pour the pasta into a serving bowl. Since my family loves Parmesan cheese and basil, I added more of both to the top of the finished pasta.

My daughter Lucie loves the pasta and I love that she’s eating fresh vegetables from our garden!

One more thing, if you don’t have a garden, most of the vegetables and herbs (for this recipe) are available at your local farmers market or grocery store. I rarely have everything I need (for a recipe) in my garden, I supplement with ingredients from my favorite markets.

Do you have a favorite dish you make with farmers market ingredients? Come back and let me know how this Bow Tie Pasta and Beans recipe works out for you.

Come back in a few days when Mallory will share a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe that is sure to be a winner.


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This is wonderful! You can alway's sub the vegies to your liking

Posted Aug 14 2013 by Bonnie M.

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