This past weekend I visited with a very dear friend, Miss Nelda. Whenever I go to her house she offers me cuttings from her yard, like these:
She said to me. “Do you like basil and mint?” I told her I did and before I knew it we were walking through her yard to her herb garden. She pushed through some other plants (I don’t know what they were) and found the mint and basil. She leaned over and yanked those plants right out of the ground. I was excited because in my mind I want to be the kind of person who grows her own herbs and happily plucks them out of the garden while I’m making dinner.
Not wanting to waste the herbs I made the following dish, which ironically used mint and basil! We found the recipe on the back of the whole grain Barilla pasta box and I altered it to what you see here. Sadly I threw away the box so I don’t remember the exact name of the recipe.
Sea Shell Veggie/Chicken Pasta
- 16 ounces shell pasta
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 head broccoli
- 2 chopped tomatoes (I used 2 cans of diced tomatoes)
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 T olive oil
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- mint (fresh!)
- basil (fresh!)
Directions: Prepare pasta according to directions. Meanwhile, heat 1 T olive oil and saute the onion and garlic until soft. Add chicken breasts and cook until completely done. Remove chicken and keep warm. Heat additional tablespoon of oil and sautee all the vegetables. After 5 minutes add 1/2 cup water. Cover and simmer for 5 more minutes or until vegetables are tender crisp. Drain pasta and put in serving dish. Top with vegetables, chopped chicken, and the fresh herbs. Serve and enjoy!
I was amazed at the difference fresh herbs made in this dish. I’ve used fresh herbs from the grocery store before but these had a flavor and odor that far exceeded the ones I had tasted in the past. So our project is to try and root the herbs she gave me so I really can have fresh herbs from my garden!
Have you ever tried to grow herbs? Ever had ones right out of the ground? What do you think? Diane