From Garden to Kitchen Table: Recipes for Success

Homewood gardeners David and Barb Ferrari grow much of what they eat in their own back yard. Here, Barb shares a couple of her favorite summertime recipes.

If there is one thing Homewood residents David and Barb Ferrari love to do that matches their passion for growing vegetables in their gardens, it is eating the healthy fruits of their labor.

Here are a couple of their favorite summertime recipes (making use of home-grown ingredients, of course):

Pasta Pesto

(Recipe courtesy Kathleen Daelemans as found on FoodNetwork.com)

Ingredients: 1 pound penne pasta; ¼-cup pine nuts, toasted; 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved; 3 gloves garlic, minced; 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste), ½-cup basil leaves, torn; salt; 1/3-cup grated parmesan (optional).

How-to-prepare: Cook the pasta in rapidly boiling water until al dente. Just before draining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of the water.

In a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, toast the pine nuts until fragrant and golden, about 2-3 minutes; set aside. Place pan back on the heat over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and ½-cup of the pasta water. Add the garlic and red peppers flakes. If the sauce is too dry, add the remaining pasta water. Add the basil to the pan. Sauté until just wilted. Remove the sauce from the heat.

Place the pasta in a large bowl. Season the pasta with salt. Top the pasta with the tomato sauce. Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts over the pasta and cheese (if using). Toss to combine, taste and adjust seasonings; serve immediately.

Ferrari tweak on recipe: Barb and David Ferrari use 4-5 cups of cherry tomatoes and add extra basil.

Ferrari says: “It’s interesting because when cherry tomatoes come in, you have them by the thousands,” Barb Ferrari said. “You can only pop so many in your mouth while you’re picking and then put them in salads. We ended up doing a search online for what to do with cherry tomatoes and we found this cherry tomato pasta recipe. And we loved it. It turns out creamy even though there is no cream in it. You do have to slice all the cherry tomatoes to get them to cook down a little quicker.”

Pasta With Kale, Beans and Sausage

(Recipe courtesy David and Barb Ferrari; submitted to SparkPeople)

 Ingredients: 1 pound turkey Italian sausage (bulk or casings removed and crumbled); 1 pound dense pasta (orecchiette, penne or gemelli); 1 can Cannellini beans; 1 (2-ounce) can flat anchovy fillets; 4 cups fresh kale (woody stems removed and julienned); 1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock; 4-6 cloves of crushed garlic; 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano), plus 1-3 tablespoons for garnish; ½-teaspoon crushed red pepper; 2 tablespoons olive oil.

How-to-prepare: Boil water and prepare pasta as directed. Meanwhile, in a deep skillet or Dutch oven, sauté Italian sausage in 1 tablespoon olive oil until once cooked through; remove from pan and set aside. In the same pan, over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, crushed garlic and anchovy fillets. Sauté until anchovy fillets melt and garlic becomes translucent. Add broth, crushed red pepper, kale and beans. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. When pasta is cooked al dente, add ¾-cup pasta water to the sausage/kale mixture prior to draining. Stir the drained pasta into the sausage/kale mixture and mix thoroughly; let stand for 3-5 minutes covered. Sprinkle with parmesan prior to serving.

Makes: 8 1½-cup servings.

Ferrari says: “This one we actually came with up on our own. We read a bunch of different recipes and I had gone through a training session last year called ‘Fresh from the Farm’ that was put on by Seven Generations Ahead. One of the gals who was in training with me works at Kendall College, which has a culinary arts program. She gave me the hint that you have to soften kale, the bite of it, with some kind of acid—either lemon juice or white wine or vinegar. When we came up with our recipe, we figured there was enough going on in there with the chicken broth to get it to soften. We love garlic. Dave just harvested massive amounts of garlic. So, anything with lots of garlic also is going to soften that earthiness of kale.”

Want To Learn More?

Vegetable Gardening Done Right: Plant It, Pick It, Eat It


Read More: Patch's House & Home.


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