Girl’s night

My husband had a meeting tonight so Samantha and I were on our own.  Keith is lukewarm on pasta but Samantha and I love it.  That made pasta a great choice for dinner.  Even better, it is easy to cook the pasta and top with different sauces.  She likes the red sauce from Graul’s while I love pesto (I made a batch on Sunday.)  Here is the pesto recipe:


  • 2 cups of basil, rinsed and dried
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 TB pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
Combine basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and salt in a blender or food processor.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into a bowl and combine with cheese.  Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.
When we sat down to dinner, Samantha decided to try my pasta with pesto.  She ended up finishing her portion and eating a good bit of mine.  I was happy to share and even happier to add another item to things she will eat!  Here she is displaying her enthusiasm for pasta night!
Pasta with pesto and/or red sauce

Pasta with pesto and/or red sauce

Pasta with Pesto and a Gazpacho bonus!

Pesto is one of my favorite sauces for pasta and we’ve made two batches this week with some fresh basil from the farmer’s market.  It freezes really well so I have a big jar in the freezer and a jar in the fridge (recipe posted on 9/6).  Tonight I’m using Orecchiette but any pasta will work.  Simply cook the pasta in boiling water, drain and toss with 1 – 2 TB pesto per serving.  Easy and delicious.

My friend Lisa requested my Gazpacho recipe so I’m posting that as a bonus.  The perfect thing to make while there is still plenty of fresh produce available from your local stand or farmer’s market.  You can keep it chunky or puree if you like a smoother consistency.  Good reminder to make some this weekend.


  • 4 Cups Tomato Juice (If you want spicier soup, use V8)
  • 1/2 cup finely minced yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 red pepper, minced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and minced
  • 2 scallions minced
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 TB sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp tarragon
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients.  Puree some or all as desired.  Chill and serve.  If you want to serve as an entree, top each serving with shrimp that you have steamed, peeled and chilled.  You can also add some chopped avocado or sour cream if you like.  Thanks for the reminder Lisa!