Thursday, July 1, 2010

Quick Farmer's Market Pasta

I've been feeling like I've been in a slump with my dutch ovening lately. I've enjoyed it, like always, but I haven't been cooking any new stuff. I've been going back and cooking things from my repertoire, rather than learning new recipes.

The lamb I did last weekend was one attempt to break out of the rut.  And earlier this week, I was watching Tyler Florence do a show on Food Network.  He cooked up this pasta with all fresh ingredients, and including artichoke hearts and zucchini.  He also stepped through the process of cutting open the artichoke.  I was enthralled!  An ingredient I had never tried, and a new technique!

As my son says, "Ew, learning in the summer..."

So, I bought the ingredients, and then finally had a chance to actually make it today.  The results were great!  I would alter it a bit for the size of the dutch oven, so it will read different than the original.

Quick Farmer's Market Pasta
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence

Serves 6, ~600 calories per serving.

2x 12" dutch ovens, 20 coals underneath
1x 10" dutch oven, 15-20 coals underneath

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 3-5 cloves fresh garlic, sliced
  • 3 pints cherry tomatoes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • lemon juice to taste

  • 3/4 pound turkey sausage, mild italian style
  • 2 to 3 small zucchini, sliced 
  • 2 fresh globe artichokes, trimmed to the hearts, cut into quarters

  • 1 pound penne pasta

I started out by lighting up a lot of coals.  I was going to be cooking three dutch ovens, so I'd need a lot.  It would all be bottom heat.  I put the olive oil in one of the 12" dutch ovens, and got it on an even spread of coals.

While that was heating up, I peeled and chopped up the garlic.  I tossed the garlic and the tomatoes into the dutch oven to begin sauteeing.  Now, there's a lot more oil in the dutch oven than you normally need to sautee, but that will all become a part of the sauce.

I set another 12" dutch oven over some coals, with just a little oil in the bottom, and put in the sausage.  With normal sausage, you don't need oil, but this was chicken sausage, which has much less natural fat.  This is tricky.  You'll be multi-tasking between the dutch ovens.

The third dutch oven was the 10", which I filled almost to the top with water.  A little salt in it, too, and on the coals, covered, to boil.

Next, I cut the zucchini into thin slices.  When the sausage was well-browned, I added in the zucchini, stirring it up.  Then, I sliced up the artichokes.  It's difficult to describe the process of cutting them.  There are youtube videos that describe the process, but none of them were exactly what Tyler showed.  Still, this video is close, and gets the same result.  I did what I remembered in the Food Network show, but next time, I'd trim the 'choke a bit closer, as this video shows.

So, I sliced them into quarters and added them to the sausage and the zucchini.  I put the lid on, to trap the heat and cook the 'choke a bit quicker.

Meantime, the tomatoes were pretty well cooked, so I smashed them up and stirred them into the oil.  I added the salt, the pepper, the lemon juice, and the honey, and stirred it all up.  I let it simmer for a while, uncovered.

By this time, the water was boiling, and I added the pasta.  As the artichoke and the zucchini cooked, I added the tomatoes. 

Soon, the pasta was al dente, the sauce and the veggies all were nicely simmered down, and it was ready to serve!  It was yummy!  The artichoke was a little wooden, but I think that's because I didn't trim the outer leaves close enough. 


Mark has discovered a love of Dutch Oven Cooking. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his MoBoy blog.

Mark's Other Blog Posts: What Do We Know?, The Chapel 

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