Summer Pasta Salad with Herbs

My love for recipe books has been well-documented through this blog and as I start today’s post where I “cook the book,” I want to note that this recipe is not coming from some celebrity or must-have recipe book.  Instead, it’s coming from my favorite genre of cookbook, the church cookbook.

For years, as I have driven to Fort Collins to work on my doctoral studies, I have stopped in Kearney, Nebraska as a halfway point, where I have walked around a Target, gassed up the vehicle, or grabbed a quick bite to eat at the grocery  store.  Each and every time I make the drive, I see the sign for the Cookbook outlet.  Two years ago, I tried to stop at the outlet, but it was Memorial Day and they were closed.  This year, I decided I needed to stop and see what the cookbook outlet had in store for me.  And it was marvelous.

The cookbook outlet is at Morris Press, a small publishing company that specializes in family and church cookbooks and the outlet features overrun or extra cookbooks that they have.  These cookbooks are sorted in a number of ways, including by state.  I picked up a few cookbooks from states I had and hadn’t been to.

Well, over the weekend I was invited to a small Memorial Day party and I decided to spend a few minutes looking through a cookbook entitled After the Harvest: A Collection of Favorite Recipes.  It is from the First United Methodist Church in Columbus, Mississippi.  The first thing I noticed when paging through the book was the number of recipes that involved fish and shellfish that we don’t have access to in the midwest.  Then I started looking for something I could bring to the upcoming party and the Summer Pasta Salad with Herbs submitted by Karen Williams looked like it was a must.  Having recently planted my garden, I was excited about using some of the herbs.

Summer Pasta Salad with Herbs

Summer Pasta Salad with Herbs

4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
1 lb small corkscrew macaroni
1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 lb Fontina cheese, finely diced, about 2 c

In a medium bowl, toss together the tomatoes, garlic, basil, mint, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Let stand at room temperature; tossing occasionally for 2-3 hours.  In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook macaroni 8-10 minutes.  Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.  Spoon off 1/4 c liquid from tomatoes.  Toss with the macaroni to coat.  While the macaroni is still warm, add the cheeses and toss until cheese begins to melt.  Add tomatoes with their liquid and toss until mixed.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


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