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Herbed Pasta and a Visit to the Harvest Showcase on July 28!

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By Maryellen Garrison

 Visit the Harvest Showcase this weekend, July 28 at the Henry County Fairgrounds to purchase some of the best local produce around!  Nothing smells better than freshly chopped basil. It has a warm, spicy smell and pungent flavor, with hints of licorice and cloves and Home grown Kentucky tomatoes are tops!

Basil is one of the most widely used herbs in the world, with over 50 different species. The most common variety is sweet basil. Other popular varieties include dwarf basil, Italian basil and lemon basil. Basil grows successfully in Kentucky in spring through the summer months. If it is grown in a pot instead of the ground, it can be brought indoors before the first frost and enjoyed for several additional months. Harvest it anytime for a fresh addition to your recipe.

The flavor of many of our garden treats can be enhanced by adding fresh basil. It adds zest to zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower and spinach. The most common use, however, is in tomato based recipes or fresh pesto.

Home grown Kentucky tomatoes are tops! They benefit from our hot, humid summer days and nights. Tomatoes originated in South America and were spread around the world by settlers. Cherry tomatoes are small in size and just right for snacking or adding to salads. They are usually rounded in shape, but may be slightly smaller and elongated. These are called grape tomatoes.

Try this wonderful summer creation using fresh grown Kentucky Basil and Kentucky Cherry Tomatoes!

Herbed Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

½ pound whole wheat pasta

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 medium chopped onion

4 chopped garlic cloves

1 medium chopped red bell pepper

6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

1. Cook pasta according to package.

2. Preheat oven to 400°F.

3. Score each of the cherry tomatoes with a small X. Toss the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and roast in oven for 10-15 minutes, until they burst.

4. Sauté onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil for 5 minutes.

5. Add garlic and red bell peppers. Sauté for an additional 5 minutes.

6. Add fresh and dried herbs, salt and oven roasted cherry tomatoes.

7. Toss with drained pasta.

Yield: 6, 1 cup servings.

Nutrition Analysis: 230 calories, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 210 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 6 g protein.

So plan to come to the Henry County Harvest Showcase at the Henry County Fairgrounds on Saturday, July 28 from 10:00 to 4:00 (or earlier starting at 7:30 if you want a locally raised breakfast made by the Chamber of Commerce!) and select some fresh produce for this easy recipe.  For more information on the Showcase go to:  http://henrycountygov.com/showcase/index.html

If your business would like to be listed as a sponsor call 845-2811.   Current sponsors include:  Cook’s Pharmacy, Henry County Farm Bureau, Henry County Animal Clinic PLLC, Henry County Chamber of Commerce, Henry County Diversification, Henry County Extension Service, Henry County Supply, Lucas Monument Co. Inc, Nanny’s Childcare and Learning Center, PBI Bank, Royal Station Farm, Sholar Funeral Home, Torrey Smith Realty, Truman Trucking, United Citizens Bank, Wright Small Engines, Prewitt Funeral Home, Campbellsburg Chiropractic, Gregory Farms, Rumpke, Capstone Auction, Henry County Cattlemen and Perry’s Hardware.  Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.