POD began with visions of gorgeous flowers, cascading from well-designed containers. And, for the first few years, visitors to the little blue deck were greeted by a riot of color.
Then, almost surreptitiously, a basil plant slipped in, then a jalapeno and Mr. Stripey…Now, the little blue deck sports almost entirely vegetables. There are enough flowers to encourage pollination, but great gobs of satisfaction — culinary, environmental and yes, aesthetic satisfaction — can be derived from growing vegetables in containers.
With the basil still recovering from the grilled pizza adventure, tarragon stepped in to give this pasta a surprising bite.
Penne With Vodka
3 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
28 oz. tomatoes, lightly drained and chopped
1/4 c. vodka
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
black pepper to taste
1/2 c. heavy cream
tarragon (or basil) to taste
1 lb penne (cooked until al dente)
1) Get the pasta started.
1b) Grab the vodka and make a martini.
2) Heat the olive oil over medium heat, add onions and stir until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes.
3) Add garlic, stir for about a minute.
4) Toss in tomatoes, vodka, and red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Simmer 10 minutes
Nothing says signs-of-summer like fresh basil (which is nothing at all like those sad little anemic hydroponic cones that get us through the winter) atop homemade grilled pizza. This one has flecks of fresh rosemary and minced garlic hiding in the crust. (Thanks, Digable Pizza — if you’re ever in Asheville, NC, check them out.)