Tag Archives: tomatoes

Pasta Primavera

30 Aug

Pasta Primavera

This is one of those throw everything in a pot, clean out the fridge kind of meals. During the summer, it’s a great way to use up the garden fresh tomatoes and zucchini that your friends keep giving you tons of.

This pasta works with a range of vegetables and it’s pretty simple (cook vegetables, cook pasta, and then mix it all together with some sauce). That being said, the info below is not much of an exact recipe, but a general guideline of how to throw everything together.

Pasta Primavera

Heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. When hot, cook about 1/2 pound Italian sausage (if using). Break into small pieces and cook until fully browned. Transfer to a small bowl when cooked.

Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the remaining grease and cook 1 tsp minced garlic for about 1 minute on medium heat,  Add about 6 cups of mixed vegetables to the pan.  Some good options for vegetables include:

  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • Carrots, sliced in strips
  • Bell pepper (of any color), cut in thin strips
  • Eggplant, sliced
  • Mushrooms, sliced

Cook vegetables for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until just cooked. Add about 1 cup tomato sauce and 1/2 cup water to the vegetables and bring mixture to a low simmer. Season sauce with garlic salt, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste. Add sausage.

While vegetables are cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook 1 lb penne or rotini pasta. Cook according to directions on package.

Add sauce and vegetable mixture to cooked pasta and mix thoroughly.  Gently mix in 1-2 pints halved cherry tomatoes and some halved Kalamata olives, Add more sauce and adjust seasonings if needed. Feel free to serve pasta with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil, if you like.

Adapted from Simply Recipes


Couscous Salad with Cucumber, Red Onion, Cherry Tomatoes, & Herbs

29 Jun

This salad was inspired by Costco. Let me explain.

Cous Cous Salad

About every other week, when our two gallons of milk run out, my husband and I make our much anticipated trip to Costco. In case you haven’t heard: We like Costco. A lot. Maybe too much. But sadly, last weekend we ran out of time and didn’t make it to Costco.  So, instead, my husband suggested that I give him my list and he would stop by after work. Now, I hesitated to do this because I was a little worried that he would get the wrong thing or forget something important from my precious list. But eventually I conceded. And he got everything that was on the list plus a few random things.

Like this: A 3-pack of cucumbers, each more than a foot long.

Giant Cucumbers

What does one do with so much cucumber? Desperate to use these before they went bad, I dug around on the internet and found this recipe. It doesn’t use all of the cucumbers, but at least it’s a start.

Besides its use of cucumbers, I was also excited about this recipe because it also gave me a chance to use some of the parsley that’s been exploding out of the garden box on our balcony. This recipe is extremely adaptable to whatever vegetables you have on hand. I added more cucumbers (because we had so much).

Couscous Salad with Cucumber, Red Onion, Cherry Tomatoes, & Herbs

1 cup couscous
1 cup loosely packed cilantro, finely chopped
1 cup loosely packed Italian parsley, finely chopped
1/2 English cucumber, cut lengthwise and very thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, cut in half and shaved extremely thin
5 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup, warmed
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
3 ounces feta cheese, optional
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook the couscous according to directions on the package. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the finely chopped herbs with the couscous. Add the sliced cucumber, onion, tomatoes, and lemon zest.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, honey, chili powder, and cumin, then toss this dressing with the couscous.
  4. Stir in the pine nuts. Crumble the feta and stir that in as well. Taste and season generously with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Adapted from theKitchn