Cooking Fresh From the Garden

food, travel

w e e k l y  m u s e 006

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Happy Friday!! Hello to you and the start of our weekend! *cheers* I recently took a trip back home to Arkansas with David to visit his parents and the farm. They have three acres of land filled with rows and rows of produce, which are sold at the farmers market every Wednesday and Saturday. We went with my father-in-law to the Tulsa Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning to help him sell at his stand. I was going to take a few photos there, but the rain decided to take a three hour visit… so that was that. There was still a pretty good crowd though! People usually like to come by to grab their weekly veggies and see what produce are in, but during the summer season, they come for one thing.. and one thing only — tomatoes. 

And I really can’t blame them because *goodness!* these homegrown tomatoes are, literally, everything! Sometimes when you buy tomatoes from the store to cook, some are hard and taste kind of like water and nothing. But these homegrown tomatoes are filled with so much juiciness and flavor, you just want to take a bite out of it right after picking it!

I took a stroll around the garden with my mil (mother-in-law) in her van to pick out some veggies to bring back home to Dallas. We used to just pack a ton of random veggies home and sometimes they would go to waste in our fridge, so I told her that I wanted to select just a few that I know we would be able to cook within the week. And of course, all I needed was a good bundle of fresh basil to make some homemade pesto and some green, red and cherry tomatoes. And let me tell ya … I put these babies to some good use! 

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They also grow wonderful, sweet strawberries! They’re easy to bite into and tastes like what a real strawberry should be.

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Roasted Tomato Pasta

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This pasta dish is simple, light and filled with so many clean flavors. It’s the perfect meal to make on Saturday (or any day, really) for lunch or dinner after stopping in at your local farmers market. I really enjoyed cooking this dish because I could taste the essence and body of each ingredient’s contribution and had so much appreciation for each one. The quality of my in-law’s basil and tomatoes were excellent and they did not have a hard time flaunting their flavors in this dish.

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Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. During this time, I cut three regular tomatoes into slices varying between 1/4″ – 1/2″. I also threw in some cherry tomatoes sliced into halves to mix up the look.

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I eyeballed some extra virgin olive oil over the tomatoes. I drizzled a generous amount on them since they were going to be roasting in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. This is where most of your juices will come from for this dish, so don’t be shy with the EVOO! Sprinkle salt and black pepper afterwards.

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Now pop these babies into the oven and work them in there for 30-40 minutes. If you want the tomatoes to have a little bit of a char, roasted taste, keep it in there for 45 minutes.

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Next, boil a pot of water. Throw some salt in there to flavor the water for your pasta and add in some drops of olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking together later. Put the pasta in and cook until al dente. I also threw in some basil toward the end for extra flavor. 

While the tomatoes were roasting and the pasta was cooking, I chopped up some garlic, shallots, and basil and set them to the side. I also minced some cloves of garlic and sautéed it in EVOO with panko bread crumbs. This part is optional, but I thought it added in a nice, crunchy texture to the dish.

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After draining the pasta, drizzle some EVOO into the pot and throw in the shallots garlic. Sauté until luminous and translucent. *Sprinkle in some red crushed pepper if you want to add a little bit of heat to it.* Put the pasta back into the pot and pour in the roasted tomatoes and all of the juices in the baking pan. Add in the basil leaves and stir it all together until you see the tomato juices clinging onto the spaghetti noodles. Take one another taste and add in any extra salt or pepper to make it to your liking. 

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And, TA-DA! Here you have a healthy, scrumptious dish to fill up your belly. I sprinkled in a little bit of shredded gouda cheese after plating it (because I looove, love my cheese!). 

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These measurements are all guesstimates because I kind of just eyeballed everything.

Roasted Tomatoes
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
3-4 red tomatoes

5 smashed garlic cloves
salt and pepper

Panko Crumbs
2 cups of panko bread crumbs
2 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

The Rest of the Ingredients
1 box of spaghetti noodles (I think angel pasta noodles would work great too!)
3-4 cloves of garlic (I’m a garlic lover so I used like 6)
1-2 shallot cloves
3 cups of fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp red crushed pepper flakes
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
shredded cheese (optional)

Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Slice the tomatoes into 1/4″ – 1/2″ thick slices. Plate them onto the baking sheet. Smash the garlic cloves and place them in between tomato slices for nice aroma and flavor. Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and garlic. Sprinkle the salt and pepper. Place into one for 30-40 minutes.

Boil your pasta water. Add in a good sprinkle of salt into the water to flavor it. Drop in one tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking to each other after it’s drained. Cook pasta for 7-10 minutes until al dente. Add in 3-4 basil leaves to add extra flavor (optional). Drain.

Next, cut up the other cloves of garlic and shallot into minced pieces. Pull basil leaves from stems and gather enough to make 3 packed cups. Heat the stove to a medium heat and pour the extra virgin olive oil into the pot. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté until translucent. Put the pasta noodles back into the pot and top of with the roasted tomatoes and all of its juices. This is where all of the flavor and light sauce is built from. Stir all together. Add in the basil and any extra seasonings you need to make it to you liking. 

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Let me know if you try out this recipe and how you end up liking it! Thanks so much for dropping in and have an amazing weekend! If you have some time, don’t forget to stop by your local farmers market to support your local farmers and vendors 🙂 

Always,

Emily

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