Sunday, May 4, 2008

Garden of Eden Pasta Sauce

I sooo miss my Grampa's vegetable garden! Going into the garden and testing the tomatoes for firmness and juiciness, looking for zucchini that is not to large, pulling up scallions that have perfect green tops, and walking over to the garden hose to freshly wash away the dark garden dirt. I started my own garden last year and loved it. I even grew corn and the flavor was so sweet and fresh with a great crunch. I could eat it straight from the garden without cooking it. The natural sugars in the corn amazed me. This year the weather has been so cold that any chance of baby plants making it would be slim to not at all. We had snow again about 2 weeks ago. The day before yesterday there was ice on my windshield of the car. In fact, one of my baby flowers died. It doesn't even feel like May yet. Hopefully that will change soon.

This pasta sauce is perfect for a hot weather, next to NO stove top cooking dish. The only ingredient that would get cooked is the pasta. That's it. The sauce does NOT get cooked. The salt sprinkled onto the chopped vegetables, herbs, and fresh mozzarella cheese softens and helps mingle the flavors. Getting the best fresh vegetables will make all the difference in flavor along with the basil leaves. I have pots of herbs on my deck that I can go out and snip. I just love that =). I think this fresh and chunky sauce matches really well with short pastas like penne, farfalle, and campanelle. This is enough sauce for 1 pound of pasta and the flavor comes down to marinating for 1 hour. Easy, colorful, healthy, and tasty.

Garden of Eden Pasta Sauce
Ingredients:

2 Large tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 scallions, sliced thin
1/2 c. chopped fresh basil
1 t. salt
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. dried oregano

Directions:
Combine tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, cheese, scallions, basil, and salt in large bowl. Whisk oil, vinegar, garlic, cumin, and oregano in small bowl. Pour oil mixture over tomato mixture and toss to coat. Cover and let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

Toss tomato mixture with cooked pasta and reserved pasta cooking water, if necessary. Serve.

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