Monday, April 20, 2009

Planting Prep and Comfort Pasta

The last frost date in Boston is somewhere around the end of April. Every place I look says something else, but they average out to this, and that is what I'm going with. Except that I'm impatient and want to do it NOW! So, I'm going to start tomorrow, when my cousin comes to help. We're going to put the gardening beds together and buy the vermiculite and peet moss. I'm psyched.

I have 24 beautiful tomato seedlings, which is way more than will fit in my square foot garden, so I'm going to try something my friend explained: hanging tomato plants. You cut a hole in a spackle or similarly-sized clean bucket, on the bottom. It should be big enough to fit the tomato seedling into. Place an old panty-hose or tights or mesh fruit bag on the bottom (with a hole to fit the seedling through) to hold the dirt in. Put the seedling through the mesh and the hole in the bucket, so the roots are inside and the stem and leaves out. Put dirt in around the plant, put the top of the bucket on, and hang from the handle. Water the tomato from the top of the bucket. Supposedly, the plants support their own weight better than when they grow standing up.

Comfort pasta

3 or 4 tablespoons olive oil
4 or 5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, diced
1 lb. ground turkey
1 eggplant, cubed
1 lb. pasta (if spaghetti or linguine, break into smaller pieces)
30 oz. canned tomatoes (if whole, break up or use sauce or crushed) or 2 to 3 fresh tomatoes
salt and pepper
1 lb. mozzarella, broken up into small bite-sized pieces

In a large pot (I use a Dutch oven), saute garlic and onion in olive oil.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a separate pot. Drain when cooked.

When onion is softened, add ground turkey and cook, breaking meat up, until well browned.

Add eggplant. Cook 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Add pasta and cheese, mixing well.