Tasty Benefits of Growing Your Own Food

Why bother growing your own vegetables?

I have often been asked is it really worth while growing your own vegetables? After all they are fairly cheap down at the local supermarket. Surely it’s just a load of hassle to grow your own – and costly to boot!

Well the answer is simple. If you are all about saving money then it is (arguably) cheaper to buy them from the grocer. However…The argument does not stop there. Oh no…..

veggies for pasta bakeGrowing your own means that you are very much in control of what you eat, and indeed what you put into your own body. Also…

  • Control of the growing environment regarding pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Fresh, crisp, tasty vegetables (you better believe it).
  • Growing vegetables has also been proven to positively impact you mentally and physically.
  • Quite apart from the physical health benefits, there is a great satisfaction to be gained from preparing and eating a meal consisting mainly or wholly from vegetables that you have grown yourself. Such as this super-tasty yet simple  pasta bake! With the star ingredient my own fresh picked heritage toms – Brandywine and Marmande varieties.

Only if you grow your own veggies can you follow the recipe below – Smoked Sausage Pasta Bake 🙂

pasta bake
The finished dish should look something like this, with cheese topping well roasted to a golden brown

To begin….Set up your chosen vegetables, whatever mix you fancy really, but this pasta bake has been done with the following home-grown veggies…

Baby carrots, onions, shallots, beef tomatoes (the star of the show) mangetout peas, celery, courgette.

Additions: 2 tablespoons tomato relish. 1 chicken stock-cube. 2 teaspoons of tomato paste. 1 smoked sausage. 1 pint water approx. Salt & pepper to taste.

The selection above with the addition of a smoked sausage, or whatever meat takes your fancy, and 500g dried pasta (curly is better) , will give a good meal for around 6 – 8 people. This actually filled 2 pasta bake dishes as you will see in the pic below

Step 1: head & tail the baby carrots – cut in half, skin, then quarter the onions & shallots.

Step 2: Blanch the toms in boiling water for a few minutes, then remove the skins which will fall away easily – this is optional. Chop & dice.

Step 3: Slice & dice the courgette (Zucchini), mangetout, and 2 celery sticks.

Step 3: Add everything (including a smoked sausage or meat of your choice) to the wok or large saucepan, bring to the boil, then simmer for 45 mins approx. Check regularly and stir to prevent sticking, or add water if needed.

veggie dish
All the vegetables added to the wok
pasta tasty dish
Now add the water and the other ingredients

While this dish is simmering away, it is time to get your pasta prepared, You know what to do – add your pasta to boiling water with a little salt & olive oil (the oil prevents the pasta sticking together). Follow the instructions on the packet for your choice of pasta, but do not cook it right through – you want to leave a little ‘bite’ as it is yet to be done in the oven.

When the pasta is done then drain and put to the side until your main dish is ready for it, then add half (or all if you have the space) to the dish and mix in the wok. Let this simmer for a few more mins. Then add the lot to your pasta dish.

pasta in wokdishes filled with pasta

cheesy pasta

Cover with grated cheese (your choice) This is a simple strong cheddar. Add a few slices of tomato. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Cook at 180F for about 15mins to brown cheese topping.

If serving this dish later or next day, then cook at 180f for about 40 mins with the first 30 mins under foil.

pasta bake


smoked sausage pasta bakeempty dinner plateNow for second helpings……or maybe the washing up…Na, another glass of red I think 🙂

Grow Your Own






Best Selling author of several no-dig gardening books, James has over 40 years of gardening knowledge and experience to share with like-minded gardening enthusiasts.

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