Crunchy, Sweet and Tangy Bread & Butter Pickles


Fresh-picked heirlooms snuggled up all cozy with rich red wine, aromatic basil, gutsy Parmesan, plush balsamic and delicious ground chicken, tinged with the heat of dried chiles and simmered together to create a glorious puddle of summer flavours.  Quick and easy.  Sexy too!

Summer pasta bowl

Simple Italian fare. 

When I hear those three little words, my tastebuds immediately start jumping up and down in delicious anticipation.

And of course we're rolling out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer right now.......those days of picking plump, sumptuous, multi-hued heirloom tomatoes. Every day.

Life is good and the cooking is easy.

This modest, sunny day sauce takes all those more traditional Italian flavours that we like to like, kicks them up with the freshness of summer, resulting in this yummy tangle that tastes like a celebration of the season itself. 

Adding a good little schwack of Parmesan to the sauce, to finish, after it has had a quickish simmer adds a kicky richness that leaves you wanting for more.

So, if you've got a bunch of fresh heirlooms like us, just think.....simple Italian fare and whiz, whiz this one up.  Buon Appetito!


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Big, big Thank-yous to Half Baked Harvest food blog for such delicious
recipes and inspiration.  Fantastico!

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2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground chicken (I buzz, buzz nice, plump little boneless, skinless chicken thighs in food processor)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 heirloom (or regular) tomatoes, finely chopped
1 generous cup heirloom (or regular) cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup good quality red wine
1/3 cup butter
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 cup water
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 ounces fresh buffalo mozzarella, sliced or the same amount of Tallegio, sliced
1 pound spaghettini

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to large skillet, set over medium-high heat.  Add the ground chicken and brown all over, breaking up the chicken as it cooks.  Season with salt and pepper and add garlic and cook about 3 minutes.  Add all the tomatoes, plus any juice left on the cutting board to the skillet.  Cook another minute and then add red wine, butter, balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes and water. 

Bring the sauce to an easy simmer, adjusting heat if necessary and cook about 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened, just slightly.  Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until just al dente.  Drain. 

Preheat broiler to high.

Remove the bolognese from the heat and stir in the Parm and basil.

Add the pasta to oven safe bowls, or oven safe skillet/pan/dish and spoon the sauce over the pasta.  Add the mozzarella or Tallegio and place under broiler for 1 minute.  Watch closely.  Remove and serve immediately with more grated Parm. Così buono!

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  Summer pasta pan

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