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We had two surprises in our garden this summer.  A big surprise was the appearance of volunteer cherry and pear tomato plants.  I haven’t planted tomatoes for 3 or 4 years and was delighted to see strong, vigorous plants growing.  A plant with little yellow pear tomatoes grew tall enough to bloom and produce right outside my kitchen window.

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Every day, my daughter picked a bowl of delicious, fresh tomatoes and I started looking for ways to use them other than in a salad.
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This tomato pasta sauce is delicious and worth trying if you still have cherry tomatoes hanging on in your garden.  It’s good enough that I’ll buy cherry tomatoes in the winter so we can have this sauce often.  The pesto portion was adapted from a recipe on Lidia’s Italy  and the sauce is one that I make often.

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CHERRY TOMATO PESTO SAUCE


Pesto:
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
12 large fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup walnuts
2 cloves garlic
¼ tsp. salt
Grating of black pepper
½ cup olive oil

Sauce:
2 Tblsp. butter
2 Tblsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup white wine (Charonnay)
2 tsp. lemon juice
½ cup halved cherry tomatoes

Grating of black pepper

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4 servings of hot, cooked pasta

To make pesto:
In a food processor, place tomatoes, basil, walnuts, garlic, salt and pepper.  Process until everything is finely minced.
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Gradually add olive oil and process until mixture is smooth.

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Set aside

To make sauce:
In a large skillet, heat butter and olive oil.  Add garlic and saute until lightly brown.  Add wine, lemon juice, pepper and ½ cup of halved tomatoes.  Stir in pesto and heat until mixture is piping hot.
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Serve immediately over cooked pasta.

Yield:  4 servings

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The second surprise was what grew up around a bird bath in the back yard.  My daughter thought she had picked up a packet of small marigolds to brighten up the bottom base of the bird bath, but the flowers kept growing until they extended well above it and  produced some gorgeous, huge orange and yellow flowers.

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