Urban Fresh!

We are lucky enough to have a pretty spacious patio at our new apartment which allowed us to plant some veggies and herbs for the first time ever! Even more exciting, they are all starting to grow and we were able to pick quite a few tomatoes and a whole lot of basil! I wanted to make something fresh, easy and delicious with our homegrown goodies so I settled on a caprese pasta…I just had to run to the store to buy some fresh mozzarella! This recipe is as easy as can be and was very light and fresh…sadly my husband and I ate an entire pound of pasta so the ‘lightness’ aspect went right out the window, but I guess it meant that it tasted pretty darn good!!

While my heavily salted water was coming to a boil, I started sautéing a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil with some garlic until the garlic became aromatic and then added the cherry tomatoes from our garden, along with some salt and pepper. Once the tomatoes softened a bit, I mashed them with a spatula, creating somewhat of a sauce. Once the campanelle (the pasta I chose to use, but others such as angel hair, ziti or fusilli would work just as well with trapping the lighter, chunkier sauce) was al dente, I used a slotted spoon to remove it and add it to the pan with the tomatoes so it could finish cooking while also adding a bit of pasta water with each addition. I turned off the heat and added the fresh basil, a lot of fresh basil, and some diced up mozzarella so it would start to get a little melty! I then added a few more sprinkles of salt and pepper, and of course some parmesan cheese! One small issue I would definitely avoid for next time is letting the mozzarella sit too long in the heat. It ended up melting a little too much, causing clumps of cheese in the pan which prevented it from distributing evenly. I would recommend pouring the tomato pasta mixture over the diced mozzarella in your serving bowl and just let the heat from the pasta and sauce melt it down! All in all, with some fresh, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside Italian bread, this was a simple and delicious weeknight meal!

Ours looked very similar, minus the olives!

And of course, as you already assumed, no meal is complete without dessert! As I mentioned in my last blog, we were fortunate enough to be given two enormous zucchinis, which I am still trying to use up before they go bad…so I decided to make some chocolate chip zucchini muffins….a little different than the zucchini bread I made last time! These turned out to be amazing, even better than I anticipated which made breakfast this morning a hell of a lot more exciting! Here’s the recipe I used:

3/4 cups white flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

3/4 cups oat flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ginger

3 eggs

1 cup oil (can use 1/2 oil, 1/2 applesauce for a healthier version)

6 ounces vanilla greek yogurt

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

3/4 cup honey

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups zucchini, shredded

Milk chocolate chips

Bake at 350 degrees for 23-25 minutes. I used a jumbo muffin pan (because bigger is always better right?!) and it made 9 very large muffins! With the combination of whole wheat flour, oat flour (which you can grind up regular old oatmeal if you don’t have oat flour), greek yogurt and zucchini, these muffins are pretty healthy, filled with fiber and protein, especially if you replace half the oil with applesauce…ok and omit the chocolate chips! These were better than the zucchini bread I made the other day in case you are thinking of trying one of the recipes out yourself!!

The finished product!!


About valuptuousvittles

I am a chiropractor with a passion for eating, baking and wine! It seems that my life is consumed by food, whereas most people eat to live, I live to eat!

Posted on August 31, 2011, in Bakery/Dessert Recipes, Breads/Muffins, Non-Bakery Items, Pasta. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. This looks incredibly yummy. Congrats on your new urban garden – it’ll change your life 😀

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