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When Life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  When Friends give you garden fresh herbs and tomatoes… make pasta!

I admit that my own garden was an epic failure this year.  After a fertilizing accident, and then an accidental draining of a chlorinated pool directly into the garden and flooding it… well, lets just say there were no survivors.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the same excuse when it comes to my potted herbs.  I’m just blaming their wilted stems on my lack of a green thumb.  Thankfully, the worlds food supply doesn’t depend on my gardening skills.  That being said, if you don’t have access to your friends gorgeous garden, the next best place to find beautiful, home grown veggies and herbs, would be a local farmers market. It really makes a huge difference when you use quality ingredients, and why not support your local economy while you eat deliciously.  Win, win.

The cheesy pasta recipe is addicting by itself, and a great meal for those days when you don’t have much in the pantry.  Almost any cheese will work as a substitute and you can toss those leftovers in the refrigerator in there too.  No left overs?  No fresh veggies?  Use canned vegetables!  How about black beans and corn?  Add a dash of chili powder and you’ve got cheesy southwest pasta!  I’m telling you, your gonna want to keep this pasta recipe handy!

Cheesy Pasta

2 tsp olive oil

2 tsp minced garlic

2 tbsp butter

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 lb pasta

1 cup cheese (I used fresh grated parmesan)

1/2 cup heavy cream

In a medium sized pot, heat the olive oil and garlic over medium high heat.  Cook till fragrant then add the butter till its melted.  Pour in the chicken broth and bring it to a boil.  Add the pasta and return to a boil.  Cover and reduce the heat.  Cook till the pasta is tender and most of the chicken broth is absorbed.  Stir in the cheese till its melted then remove from the heat and add in the heavy cream.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer to a large serving bowl.

Slice about 1 1/2 cups of small tomatoes in half.  (I used sun golds and grapes)  Chiffonade a handful of fresh basil leaves.  Set aside.  Chop 2 chicken breast in to bite size pieces and cook in a skillet with olive oil, salt and pepper.  When the chicken has started to brown, toss the basil and the tomatoes in, just to warm them slightly.  Pour over the top of the pasta.