Earth day is a little bit of a bust over here. Its raining, raining, raining and we hate the rain so we are inside taking naps.
Mom is cooking, and even though she is a carnivore like us (or at least a meat lover) in honor of Earth day she is making some vegetarian recipes, since vegetarian cooking is easier on the environment.
First she made her absolute favorite pasta.
Summer Garden Pasta from Ina Garten
4 pints of cherry tomatoes (Ina Garten uses the red ones but I think the recipe is better with the mixed color cherry tomatoes, red, yellow and orange)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves of garlic minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 package angel hair pasta
8 ounces of grated Parmesan cheese (the real Italian stuff)
At least four hours before you want to eat the pasta cut the tomatoes in half and combine with the olive oil, garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature.
When you are ready to serve the pasta put the water on to boil. Thinly slice 18 basil leaves and toss in with the tomatoes, set aside a few other leaves for garnish. Grate the Parmesan cheese and stir into the tomatoes.
Cook the pasta until and toss with the tomatoes.
This is so simple its barely even a recipe and more of an idea.
2 to 3 large tomatoes (I used these cool purple tomatoes they had on Fresh Direct this week.)
8 ounces of buffalo mozzarella
salt and pepper
Slice the tomatoes and place them on a plater. Slice the cheese and arrange around the tomatoes. Drizzle over olive oil and the salt and pepper. Top with a handful of basil leaves.
The best part of the meal was the dessert.
Passion Fruit and Raspberry Mess or Pavlova
This started life as a Pavlova but it cracked so I served it a Trifle Bowl like Eton Mess.
5 large egg whites
1 cup vanilla sugar (you can make this by storing some sugar in a jar or tupper ware with a vanilla bean)
1 tsp white vinegar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 passion fruit
1 pint raspberries.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attatchment beat the egg whites on high with the pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar as you beat until you have used all the sugar and firm peaks form. This should take about 3 minutes. Sprinkle over the cornstarch and vinegar and fold in. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mound the meringue mix in the center of the paper in a circle. Cook for one hour. Turn off then oven and let cook completely.
At this point you can decide if you want to make Pavlova or mess. When I took my pavlova out of the oven it cracked. I probably did not let it cool long enough. So I brought it up and put it in Trifle serving bowl. If your pavlova doesn't crack you can just put it on a serving plate.
Whip the cream in the mixer with chilled beaters until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until firmer peaks form. Top the pavlova or mess with the cream. Cut the passion fruit in half and extract the seeds and scatter over the Pavlova/Mess. Scatter over the raspberries.
We have an excess of doggie treats over here right now, what with all the treats we have ordered from Mr. Chewy, but last year I did post a recipe for Earth Day Friendly dog treats you can check it out here.