Maggie Monday: In a Garden with Ina Garten

I don’t know about you, but I look forward to Maggie Monday. Whether it is Cinnamon Roll Cake or the devilish Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf, her recipes make my mouth water. Here is another great looking recipe from Maggie.

When I saw the Barefoot Contessa make this dish on her show, I knew I had to try it. A no-cook pasta sauce? Bring it on. So simple. So healthy. So good.

My husband’s mantra is  “No meat? No meal.” So making meatless dishes can be risky at our house. I usually reserve them for those nights he won’t be around for dinner. He loved this one. Our 18 year old massive eating-machine son and his partner in crime my 18year old nephew sneaked 2am leftover “snacks” (yes, apparently huge bowls of pasta is considered snack food) during their nighttime video game marathons. Verdict is- it is a hit!

So in the summer head to the farmers market and find the freshest, sweetest little cherry tomatoes you can find. I don’t prefer the little grape tomatoes from the grocery store- they just aren’t as good as locally grown ones you might find, or even better, grow yourself. It is also gorgeous if you mix colors- there are so many pretty varieties of cherry tomatoes now. Mix it up. This dish is beautiful, and makes a great carry-along for summer picnics and potlucks.

Here’s an idea- buy a basil plant and a cherry tomato plant. Plop them in pots on your deck. Then in July and August, you can probably make this pasta every week or so.

All credit to Ina Garten for this yummy recipe! Buy her books- you won’t be disappointed!

Summer Garden Pasta

What you need:

4 pints of the freshest, sweetest little cherry tomatoes you can find. Halved.

½ cup Olive oil. Splurge for the good stuff

2 T minced garlic (about 6 cloves)

18 Large basil leaves, julienned. Get fresh ones. (Basil is easily grown in a container)

½ t crushed red pepper flakes

1 t Kosher salt

½ t freshly ground black pepper

1 pounde dried angel hair pasta

1 ½ cups freshly grated parmesan cheese

What to do:

Combine all ingredients except the pasta and parmesan cheese in a large bowl. Toss, and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside at room temperature for about 4 hours.

When you’re ready to eat, prepare the pasta. Toss a bit of salt and olive oil into the boiling water before you place the pasta in. Cook to al dente per the directions on the package. Drain the pasta and toss it into the bowl with the cherry tomatoes. Add a bit of fresh basil and the grated parmesan cheese. Have extra cheese on hand to sprinkle over each serving.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Cheese, Guest-Maggie, Italian, kosher, Main Dish, Pasta, Recipes, Vegetable, Vegetarian

Author:The Ranting Chef

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33 Comments on “Maggie Monday: In a Garden with Ina Garten”

  1. May 7, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    That title is HILARIOUS! And the pasta looks delicious too!


  2. May 7, 2012 at 11:32 am #



  3. May 7, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    Darn … you beat me to the punch. I am planning to do a version of this in an upcoming post on my blog. I hope it turns out as nicely as yours looks 🙂


  4. May 7, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    I have heard so much about Ina and have never paid much attention really.. time i DID~!. This is fabulous -simple and fresh. We grow both tomatoes and basil in the gardens so this will be on the summer menu for sure c


  5. May 7, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    thanks for the idea of pot planting for the cherry tomatoes and basil


  6. May 7, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Can’t wait to try. Will have to halve ingredients as my 27 yr old son won’t touch with a ten foot salad fork! Non-chef foodie here…what’s al dente? Have always wanted to know.


    • Maggie
      May 7, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

      “Al dente” means that you cook the pasta until it is still a bit firm, but not hard. If you overcook, it becomes a bit too soft and gummy. I find that if you check your pasta at the time recommended on the box, it usually needs another minute or two at the most. When you bite into the pasta, there should be a slight resistance in the center of the pasta. No crunch, but just a bit chewy. Hope this helps and happy cooking and eating!


  7. May 7, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    Yum! Looks similar to my guest post here for Pasta Pomodoro! One of my fave dishes 🙂


  8. unoscoiattoloindispensa
    May 7, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    so simple yet soooo good


  9. P.S. I Love Soap Co.
    May 7, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Now I’m hungry!


  10. rigmover
    May 7, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    Sounds tasty


  11. Lola
    May 7, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    This really works great with any fresh, ripe (real!) tomato. It’s similar to a go-to dish of my own and it’s delicious, easy and healthy! Thanks for sharing Ina’s version!


  12. May 7, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    YUM! looks like a bowl of freshness and fabulous flavours!


  13. May 7, 2012 at 11:10 pm #

    That looks truly lovely!


  14. May 8, 2012 at 2:01 am #



  15. May 8, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    Love it! Maybe I will have to plant a cherry tomato plant to try and grow my own food for this. Thanks for the great easy recipe!


  16. Alli
    May 8, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    Yummy! I do something similar, but I add cubed up fresh mozzarella.


  17. May 8, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    Looks dang tatsy!!!


  18. May 8, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    I keep seeing this picture roll through my blog feed and I’m convinced I must have it!!


  19. May 8, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    I am Italian, & this is one of my absolutely favorite dishes!! I love to sprinkle my own Italian Dried Spice Herb Mix over this, & melt some Monserella on top of those oven baked tomatoes. Add a little pepper & Sea salt & Ta-Da!! You have a divine Italian Meal! {<3}


    • Maggie
      May 9, 2012 at 11:14 am #

      Please share your herb mix recipe with us! I am off to Florence next week and plan to hit h markets for some! Mmmmm.


      • July 6, 2012 at 5:13 pm #


        Apologies for the late response! Seeing this a bit late! I will go take some pictures & write a post, just on this topic. Hopefully here in the next few hours I will be able to finish it & post. 🙂

        ~ Ami


  20. May 8, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    What an absolutely delectable photo! The colours are divine. I bet it tastes divine too.


  21. May 8, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    So healthy! Can’t wait to try!


  22. May 8, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

    I love fresh, clean tasting pasta! This looks perfect for summer!


  23. May 9, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    Yum! Looks delicious and fresh! I can’t wait to start growing tomatoes 🙂


  24. May 9, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    That pasta is gorgeous!


  25. May 10, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

    I love this type of delicious pasta! The way the cherry tomatoes pop in the mouth as the noodles are slurped in.


  26. May 12, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    So simple and most important its quick – no slaving over a hot stove for hours cooking sauce!
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  27. May 31, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    Would be wonderful with some smoked sausage cut up in it….LOL!!!
    I’m a meat-lover, like your hubby. hehe
    I’m sure it’s wonderful either way. 🙂


  28. June 4, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    I made a list, and I’m checking it twice…oh…June is it? Will try this for sure!


  29. June 17, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    Just made this – husband said it was yummy before I even asked for an opinion!


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