Thursday, 5 September 2013

End of summer pasta

With all this sunshine, it would have showed up my gardening skills for what they are, had my grow your own plot (aka corner in the garden) been as disastrous as last year. But the McDonald farm has lived up to its nursery rhyme reputation. Mostly a success. The artichokes (globe and Jerusalem) withered and died almost immediately. I spent more on potato plants, planters and compost than either species yielded. My strawberries worked out as £1.75 each. But the courgettes and tomatoes have gone bonkers!!! I think this is less a testament to my greenfingers and more because it is really difficult to kill them off. Last night I went to bed and I swear one courgette doubled in size by this morning. Nature is miraculous. Although, I am now wondering what to do with a marrow. My cherry tomatoes are also delivering the goods. I planted three Gardener's Delights and each have produced a bumper crop. So I have been working out ways to use them up, which frankly is no hardship. They are delicious popped in to the mouth straight from the plant, chopped with garlic and oil on bruschetta and fried briefly with courgette ribbons with gnocchi. But this pasta dish is my all time favourite, partly because it also involves capers. I don't think I had eaten a caper a year ago, but Claire made me my first salsa verde last summer and I am hooked. This simple summery pasta tastes as delicious with shop bought toms as garden grown ones, in case you are not a budding Titchmarsh like me. And if you want an ace tip about how to check if your pasta is cooked, then have a look at this short film we made.

End of summer pasta

Serves: 2
Takes: 2 min prep, 10 min cooking time

Enough linguini for two people
Two handfuls of halved cherry tomatoes
Tablespoon capers
Handful olives
Handful torn basil
Lemon - juiced and rind grated
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Grated parmesan

Cook the pasta as per instructions. Drain, reserving some cooking liquor. Toss the pasta with the liquor, tomatoes, capers, olives, basil, lemon juice, lemon rind, oil, salt and pepper. Serve with Parmesan, if you want.


  1. I have killed many a tomato plant, so I think credit where it's due, you did it! We have borlotti beans (no idea what to do with them, Rufus planted them) and various types of squash growing over the front fence on the pavement - again Rufus' green fingers! My offering is a yellowing sage plant. xx

  2. It has definitely been a good year for tomatoes, this year. I never price up my home grown produce but if I did then I'd factor in the amount of hours they entertained me also... ;o)


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