Occasionally my worlds of running a full time web business and this blog can collide and this week that was most definitely the case. I’m glad I persevered…it forced me to make something simple and we just loved this dish.
Luckily I had a lot of produce on hand and plenty of goods in the pantry so everything I needed was on hand. Whew!
This is one of those ‘so up my alley’ dishes; I’ve been cooking pasta with vegetables for years, long before it became popular or trendy. I have always loved the Pasta con Broccoli dish that is from a cookbook that belonged to my mother from the late 1950′s. My propensity to combine the two was solidified the year we had a bumper zucchini crop. I was DESPERATE to find something new to do with zucchini and into pasta it went!
It was prophetic I thought that I also had some garlic I was dying to use. Homegrown garlic even. For all the garlic I’ve had in my life, I have never known the person who grew it, but this time I did. I’ve come to know and love Carolyn with Cowlick Cottage and she has a garden To. Die. For. One day someone won a box of garlic from her and if I recall correctly; I do believe I literally begged her to send me some too. I think I was kidding but she was not. Look at that beautiful garlic. Thanks Carolyn.
This was a total hit. Gorgeous and delish I must say. :)
Simple and fresh pasta salad with spinach, tomatoes and roasted garlic.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 head of garlic, roasted
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 medium onion, cut into large dice
- 1 box Bow-tie pasta
- 6 oz baby spinach (I had a pre-washed bag of spinach I used, it was a 6 oz package.
- 2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced
- Salt and Pepper
- Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- Put half of the olive oil, roasted garlic cloves (see Notes for more info) and balsamic vinegar into a small food processor or a small bowl. Process or mash until the garlic is no longer large pieces.
- Put the remaining oil and the butter into a saucepan with chopped onions, a pinch of salt and and some fresh ground pepper; cook the onion until translucent and starting to brown; add the garlic/oil mixture and thoroughly incorporate with the onions. Remove to bowl.
- Using the same pot, fill with salted water and bring it to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions til al dente. Drain and return to the pot.
- Add the uncooked baby spinach and the onion/garlic/oil mixture to the pot and toss together.
- On medium heat, add the diced tomatoes, stirring to combine. Heat for an additional 2 minutes; stirring constantly.
- Serve in bowls with fresh grated Parmesan cheese grated on top.
I used a bowl of fresh from the garden cherry tomatoes that I just had to cut in half. They were perfect but you could also dice larger tomatoes.
The garlic I got from Carolyn had already been roasted. I just love how roasting makes it so sweet. Here's how:
Peel off any loose paper on garlic bulbs you want to roast but don't separate the cloves; keeping the bulb form.
Cut off the top of the bulb exposing the raw cloves.
Put the bulbs into a heatproof dish and drizzle each one with some olive oil. Salt and pepper each bulb.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 325 for one hour. Cloves should be lightly brown.
When cool, simply squeeze the cloves out of the bulb.