Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Meet the Contributors: Cole Gibsen

A good meal, just like a good book, has the power to transport you to another world. I remember that it was just  around the time I began to write KATANA that I also began collecting Japanese cookbooks. It wasn't enough for me to simply read about Japan so I could write about it, I also wanted to taste it. For me, food is just as an important element to a story as conflict and tension.

Don't believe me? If I said the word 'butterbeer' to you, what's the first thing you think of? I rest my case. :)

And that's why I wanted to start this blog. It's occurred to me that every meal has a story to tell and every story has a meal to share. And who are we kidding? I love books and I love food. Creating a blog that gives me an opportunity to discuss both was a no brainer. In the coming weeks, I've asked each Pots n' Pens contributor to introduce themselves and share one of their favorite recipes.

The recipe I'll be sharing with you is a favorite of mine because it's fast, I can use the basil and tomatoes that I grow at home, and it's a hit with both my husband and toddler. Last year, I created a character who was a vegetarian, so I trotted off to my local library and came home with a armful of vegetarian cookbooks to research foods and recipes that a vegetarian might eat. To say my husband was less than enthused is a gross understatement. But, after playing around with the recipes in the books and adding a few twists of my own, I now have a vegetarian recipe that my husband not only likes, but asks for.


First, gather your ingrediants:

1 package of speghetti
2 cups freshly packed basil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cups olive oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
1/2 cups Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes (more or less depending on how much you like cherry tomatoes)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 8 oz. package of mozzarella cheese pearls

(Poor unsuspecting basil plant that doesn't know what's coming.)

Next, boil a large pot of water and cook your speghetti per its package directions. You can use plain speghetti or flavored. Just for kicks I bought a package of spinach basil garlic linguine from a specialty olive oil store. Yum.

While your pasta is cooking, take your 2 cups of basil (withholding a few leaves for garnish) and dump it in a food processor. Since my food processor died on me, I had to resort to using my blender which worked really well. Add the garlic, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and blend  until pureed. Next, add your Paremesan and pulse until blended. Viola, you have pesto! Double yum!

In a seperate bowl, cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add the vinegar, dash of pepper, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir gently and gradually add in the mozzarella.

Now, go back to your cooking pasta. When it's finished scoop out 1/2 cup of the cooking water and keep it to the side. Drain your pasta and return it to the pot along with the 1/2 cup of cooking water. Next, add in the pesto and toss to coat.

Spoon your coated pasta into a serving bowl and top with the tomatoes and cheese. Garnish with basil.

Yummy. :)

I hope you'll enjoy this recipe as much as I have. Please stay the rest of the month to meet the rest of the contributors as they share their drool-worthy recipes.


  1. That is a great recipe, Cole. My basil plant is not doing so hot this season, so I may be hitting the market for this recipe. Pesto is one of my favorite sauces. Yum!

  2. Everything looks delicious! Can't wait to try!

  3. That does look delish. I'll have to try it.

  4. Time to send therapy to my Basil baby 'cause it will be getting clipped for this recipe. Plus it looks pretty. I like these type of dishes that make me look like a well rounded and cultured person.

  5. Oooh, that looks super yummy and perfect for summer too!

  6. Yummy looking recipe! I can't wait to try it out! I'm so glad you came up with the idea of starting this blog and am looking forward to getting to know all the contributors.