Tortellini with Nectarines

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This weekend we had my cousin Dana (quite a talented jewelry-maker – check out her Etsy site) over for dinner and a sleep-over with the kids while my wife was out of town on business. Since she had some errands to run in Manhattan, we weren’t entirely sure when she’d make it over, so I popped a pot of water onto the stove to get to a boil and decided to make something that could be thrown together last-minute. Last week we got some lovely nectarines in our CSA fruit share and I thought savory and sweet/tart go so very well together…

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Pea shoots, pea scores!

So we got a LOT of pea shoots over the past few weeks in our CSA. Now, I like pea shoots (which taste like a very mild combination of sweet peas and baby salad greens), but there really is only so much you can put on a sandwich or in a salad. Then I remembered that you can make pesto out of almost any green, leafy vegetable – arugala, spinach, basil (of course), etc. – and I wondered if making a pesto from our massive pile of pea shoots was a possibility. The answer, of course, was yes.

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Penne with Hearty Greens

This week in our CSA box we received some interesting things. Among them, garlic scapes, beets and Swiss chard. Garlic scapes were all the rage a year or so ago… the food blogging world just wouldn’t stop talking about them. If you happened to miss it, garlic scapes are the immature garlic plants. They’ve a mild, garlicy flavor that works well in many recipes, most notably a garlic scape pesto (thanks, Adam Roberts). Since last year I found it a challenge to use up all of the things I got in the box so I figured I’d use the scapes in a sauce with some of the other vegetables.

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Grilled Sausage Penne

Sometimes, when you’ve no idea what you want to make for dinner, it can really help that you just watched an episode of Iron Chef America. My wife, Elizabeth, and our older son were outside playing and I was inside with a sleeping baby in my arms. So I sat on the couch and watched TV. When judgement came on Iron Chef I suddenly realized that it was already 5:45 pm and I had no clue what to make. When the show was over, I went outside and handed the dozy but just awake Tyler to his mother and ran inside to start boiling some water and back outside to preheat the grill. I grabbed some sausages I had in the refrigerator, a container of cherry tomatoes and an onion and set to work.  Continue reading