As I wrote about in my last post, summer tomatoes taste so delicious to me that they don’t need a lot of accompaniment. The fact that basil exists, and is fresh in my garden at the same time as tomatoes are, I think, one of life’s miracles. Putting fresh basil and tomatoes together can make anyone appear a master chef. I like to just throw a little fresh basil onto an otherwise ordinary salad, and it suddenly tastes gourmet.
Last night, I made up this quick, easy way to use some of our basil and tomatoes, along with some freshly picked kale that my neighbors had brought over from their garden. I hope it’s a recipe you might want to replicate, or use as inspiration for cooking with ingredients from your own garden. It’s fresh and delicious tasting, but I want to emphasize that it really didn’t take any special cooking knowledge to create – just a trust that throwing a few seasonal ingredients together can result in a great meal. Tonight, look at your produce, and trust that with a quick sauté and a few herbs, you’ll create a masterpiece.
Capellini and “Chicken”
- 8 oz of capellini or angel hair pasta
- 1 bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped
- 1/2 of a large onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 – 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 – 2 pinches of dried chili flakes, optional
- 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1 package (4 pieces) Gardein Chick’n Scallopini
- Olive Oil
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. When it is boiling, add the kale and capellini. Cook for two minutes, then remove from heat and drain.
2. While you are doing this, you can begin to cook the onion and garlic in a generous portion of olive oil (a few tablespoons) in a sauce pan or wok for about five minutes over medium heat, until softened. Add the cherry tomatoes, and turn the heat down to a low simmer. You may also want to add chili flakes.
3. Once you’ve cooked the pasta, use the burner you’ve freed up to cook the Gardein Chick’n. Simply fry the pieces in olive oil for 2 – 3 minutes on each side over medium heat. While you are frying the “chick’n” the pasta sauce can be simmering. Add the fresh basil to the pasta sauce for the last few minutes of the cooking time.
4. To serve: Toss the pasta and kale with the cherry tomato sauce. Serve a portion of pasta next to a piece of chick’n. This is meal is great accompanied by a salad and bread. You may also want to provide nutritional yeast to put on top of the pasta and a plate drizzled with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar for people to dip their bread in.
Also, if you love Italian food like I do, you may also want to try my pasta sauce recipe with some of your fresh tomatoes. Enjoy!