Thursday Night Menu: Farmers’ Market Edition


These are so simple, even if you’ve never cooked before, you’ll be successful.  I still don’t now have a name for this pasta dish (thanks everyone) and I find it difficult to believe that 6 ingredients could be so flavorful. On the board tonight:

  1. Pasta Caprese
  2. Loaf of Bread
  3. Apple & Blackberry Crisp

 Pasta Caprese

  • 9 oz linguine or fettuccine
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 4 oz cubed mozzarella
  • salt & pepper to taste

saucepan and large serving dish

Prepare pasta according to package directions.  While it’s cooking, mix remaining ingredients together.  Drain pasta completely (dab with paper towels, if necessary) then add to tomato mixture.  Let sit for 10-15 minutes to let flavors blend.  Serve warm or you can refrigerate and serve cold.  Add a nice loaf of bread for a complete dinner.

I use a fairly expensive mozzarella for this dish because it’s softer, tastier and absorbs more flavors.  Any locally produced mozzarella would work.  Also, my local farmers’ market has a pasta vendor, who hand makes many flavors of pasta.  This dish works very well with flavored pastas – fire roasted chili, lemon pepper, tomato basil, red bell pepper – the list goes on.  You can also change up the cheese to a Queso Blanco (again, use a fairly expensive or locally produced one), use cilantro instead of basil and use a chili flavored pasta for a whole new dish.  The possibilities are endless.

The credit for this dish goes to friends.  Every time they made it for me I’d ask, “What’s in this again?”  Couldn’t believe it was so simple.  After a trip to the farmers’ market, we started trying different flavors.  Now on to dessert….

Apple & Blackberry Crisp:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)


  • 3 apples, cored & sliced (peeling opt)
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

8×8 baking dish and mixing bowl

In bowl, cut together sugar, brown sugar, flour, oatmeal, cinnamon & butter until crumbly.  In baking dish, toss apple slices & blackberries with sugar & lemon juice.  Crumble butter mixture over the top evenly.  Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes, until top is golden and bubbly and apples are soft. Let cool 10 minutes before serving to let fruit set.

If you want to change it up, use different fruits or fruit combinations you might like  – peaches, pears, blueberries, strawberries, and even rhubarb (you’ll have to add about a ½ cup of sugar to the fruit and cook 40 minutes).


Shopping List:

  • 9 oz linguine or fettuccini
  • 4 oz mozzarella
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
  • Nice loaf of bread
  • 3 apples
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)

Also: olive oil, crushed garlic, sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon juice

7 thoughts on “Thursday Night Menu: Farmers’ Market Edition

  1. And for my buddy Laura W.: it is possible to substitute stevia for sugar very easily. Look on your package of stevia for ratios, as I have found they are different depending on how the stevia is processed (powder, liquid or crystals). Since volume is not an issue in the crisp recipe, substitution should not be a problem.


  2. Pingback: Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » Steelers Open Thread

  3. Hey, if anyone comes up with a great name for the pasta dish, I’ll send you a week of menus, recipes and shopping list. Email it to:

    (substitute @ and . above)


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