Northern & Central Midwest
Ultimate Fresh Summer Pasta
2 cups halved, ripe cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/4 cup fragrant olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
4 cups cooked pasta (penne, farfalle, orzo, or your choice)
Mix ingredients together and let sit for about two hours at room temperature. Just before eating, cook pasta of your choice and drain. Toss while hot with tomato mixture and freshly grated Romano cheese. Serve with crusty Italian bread and a dry, red wine.
Colored Mulches Really Work
From the Agricultural Research Service of the USDA comes new information on using colored mulches in the garden. The September 5 issue of the Agricultural Research magazine reports that basil grown with red mulch has bigger, more succulent leaves. When grown above yellow or green mulch, basil developed more intense flavor. Carrots grown over yellow mulch had greater concentrations of beta-carotene. Past research has shown that red mulch produces better-flavored tomatoes and strawberries. It all has to do with light waves. Good news for home gardeners!