Tag Archives: oregano

Italian Pasta

I feel a bit awkward writing this post since it’s been a good four months since I’ve written anything!  Let’s just say a haitus was necessary.  Between caring for my mom and step-father and writing two genealogy blogs a day, I felt the need to release some of my responsibilities for a bit.  Ritchey has been able to eat as soon as dinner was ready – I haven’t even been photographing my food!  But tonight I felt it was time to return – not an every day post as before – but as an occasional blogger, when there’s something special to share.

Another reason for tonight’s reappearance is a new blog – Food, Flowers, Herbs and Life – The Next Generation!  Yes, my daughter Kate has a new blog.  She has taken up the pen, the skillet and the camera – and brings the world her way of cooking and living life!  We’ve very different in many ways, but deep down we’re very much alike – as it should be!

Tonight’s supper was a throw together twenty minutes before Ritchey got home.  But I’ve come to love those last minute, throw something in the skillet meals!  This was a basic pasta dish, with some good things sauteed in the skillet while the pasta was cooking.  Paired with a great wine, it was all we needed for a great meal!  That’s all you can ask for!

  • 1 pound sausage
  • 2 handfuls pine nuts
  • 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound tiny, fresh green beans
  • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/8 pound Parmigiano Reggiano, cut into small cubes
  • oregano
  • 1/2 pound medium pasta shells, cooked according to package directions

In a large skillet brown the sausage, cutting it into small pieces.  Put the water on for the pasta while the sausage is cooking.  When the sausage is starting to brown add the onions and pine nuts.  Add the green beans and cook for about five minutes – or until crisp-tender.  Remove the skillet from the stove.  Add the tomatoes and Parmigiano Reggiano and stir well.  Add cooked pasta.  Sprinkle with oregano.  Enjoy!

Fresh Pasta Sauce

Note by Phyllis Brown:  With all the lovely tomatoes on hand I wanted to make a fresh pasta sauce tonight.  I started with chopped red onion, garlic and green pepper in my skillet.

My tomatoes were at least a pound and a half each – I used three.  They were juicy and very red.  Twelve yellow pear tomatoes added color.

There was one small zucchini on the vine – it was added to the skillet along with oregano and basil.

I could have eaten it just like this!  But I wanted a more traditional sauce tonight and let it cook for about 45  minutes with this result:

Fresh Pasta Sauce

  • olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 large green pepper, chopped
  • 3 very large red tomatoes, peeled, cored and roughly chopped, reserving juice
  • 12 yellow pear tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small zucchini cut in half and sliced
  • sugar
  • basil
  • oregano
  • 1 pound pasta
  • Feta cheese
  • fresh basil

Drizzle olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add onion and saute for five minutes, adding a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Add garlic and green pepper, cooking for another few minutes.  Add the tomatoes and zucchini.  Bring to a boil and turn the heat to medium.  Add a handful each of dried oregano and basil and a good pinch of sugar.  Stir.  Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.  Cook for about 45 minutes.

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Top pasta with sauce, Feta cheese and freshly chopped basil.  Enjoy!

Todays’s Winged Visitors

Our flowers had many visitors today.  These are a few of the photos I took.  This White selected a pink zinnia for lunch!

This Clearwing Hummingbird Moth didn’t want to pose for the camera!  He was far too busy collecting his daily nectar!


This Great Golden Digger Wasp was just shy.  It was difficult to get very close!


This Buckeye loves our oregano that’s gone to flower!

Doesn’t the purple of the hummingbird bush and yellow of the Sulfur make a pretty picture – especially with the green background?

There were multitudes of bumble bees and honey bees!

These two tiny butterflies were in abundance on the hummingbird bush – several on one sprig – the trick was to take the picture while they were together!  I believe this one is a Skipper – I’m not sure about the one below.



Tomato and Cannellini Bean Soup

Note by Phyllis Brown:  Our family eats soup year round.  It makes a nourishing meal irregardless of the weather!

Tomato and Cannellini Bean Soup

  • 3 – 19 oz. cans cannellini beans
  • 2 – 14 oz. cans vegetable broth
  • 3 oz. sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 large leek
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes
  • 3 or 4 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • sea salt
  • pepper

Chop garlic and leek.  Saute in olive oil in a large pan for 3 minutes.  Add beans and broth.  Cut sun-dried tomatoes in small pieces and add to pan.  Peel and chop tomatoes, add.  Bring to a boil, then turn to low heat and simmer 30 minutes.  Add spinach and spices.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cook an additional ten minutes.  Enjoy!