Oh, I do love dinner at this time of the year.
Summer often becomes a pasta-fest at my house. Or me, there is nothing better than enjoying a light, simple, and fresh meal that can be put together in next to no time, using veg harvested straight from the plot.
Tonight, I used courgette and some herbs to make a Real Men Sow Summer staple, Mary McCartney’s courgette, and lemon spaghetti. The meal only took me half an hour from plot to plate but sat outside taking the usual ribbing about my poor spaghetti eating skills from my wife, I couldn’t have been happier.
The beauty of these types of recipes is that they’re so simple. A little olive oil, garlic cloves, a spoonful of chopped herbs, lemon zest, and sometimes a few pine nuts, and you’ve got a delicious meal in next to no time.
Living for the Moment
I enjoy trying my hand at trickier, more time-consuming recipes in the Winter. Comfort eating and big, slow-cooked meals are all part of the lure of the season, but I reckon Summer is more about living for the moment – grabbing your produce, cooking it as quick and easy as possible, and appreciating the fruits of your labour in the sunshine.
There are lots of other straight-forward Summer meals that make the most of seasonal produce like courgettes, peas, and beans. Broad bean and pea risotto, lifted with some garden mint, is delicious and another favourite in this neck of the woods.
Jamie Oliver’s Summer Tomato Pasta
However, my absolute favourite is Jamie Oliver’s Summer tomato pasta, which makes the sauce by putting butter, balsamic vinegar, and chopped herbs in a pan and warming until the butter is melted. Then you add a selection of your finest tomatoes, and once they’re warm and soft, crush them into a sauce.
Mix in a few olives, some olive oil, and grated parmesan over the top and you’ve got an incredibly speedy and fresh Summer meal. I can’t find the full recipe online, but if you’d like to try it, drop me an email and I’ll send it over.
Cheap Eating and Minimal Washing Up!
Of course, this is all pretty rustic, but it’s also very cheap eating. Using homegrown courgettes and herbs, my rough calculations suggest last night’s ample meal for two costs less than a fiver. Cheap as chips (or a Summer pasta dish…).
There are other bonuses too. Did I mention the washing up? One saucepan, a couple of plates, cutlery, and a colander.
Less washing up, more time in the garden. 🙂