Book Launch – Competition Special

To help celebrate the launch of a beautiful new gardening book, The Gardeners Club has a copy ready to give away to one lucky Club member.

Beautifully illustrated, Grow Fruit & Vegetables in Pots provides clear, practical information on growing fruit and vegetables in containers, whether that be a window box or a terracotta pot on a balcony. Aaron Bertelsen of the acclaimed English garden at Great Dixter will guide you through what to grow, which pots to use, give personal tips on varieties to choose, and advice on cultivation and care. Featuring more than 50 delicious recipes, Bertelsen shows that lack of space is no barrier to growing what you want to eat, and proves that harvesting and cooking food you have grown yourself is a total pleasure, with dishes that showcase a few perfectly chosen – and personally grown – ingredients.

To win, simply enjoy cooking one of meals featured in the book by following the recipe below and send a picture of your culinary triumph to [email protected].

Pasta with Container Garden Sauce

Serves 4

This recipe comes to me from my friend Bill Thomas, the director of Chanticleer Garden just outside Philadelphia. I often stay with him when visiting the gardens there – a real treat, as he is such an interesting cook. The great thing about this sauce is its simplicity. The heat of the pasta is enough to really bring out the flavours of the tomatoes and herbs, without losing any of their freshness and intensity.

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes

450 g/1 lb dried spaghetti or linguine
50 g/2 oz (2 cups) basil leaves
50 g/2 oz (1 cup) flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons lightly toasted pine nuts
350 g/12 oz (2 cups) perfectly ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
120 ml/4 fl oz (1/2 cup) good-quality extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese, to serve

Bring a large pan of well-salted water to the boil and cook the pasta for 10 minutes, or until al dente.

Meanwhile, make the raw sauce (you can also prepare this sauce a few hours in advance and keep at room temperature). Pound together the basil, parsley, garlic and pine nuts and season with salt and pepper – I do it with a pestle and mortar, but you can use a food processor if you prefer. Either way, be careful not to overdo it – you want a sauce with distinct ingredients, not a purée. Mix in the tomatoes and lightly smash, then stir in the oil.

Drain the pasta, retaining a cup of the cooking water. Mix the pasta and sauce together, adding a little of the reserved cooking water if it seems a little too dry. Serve with the grated cheese in a bowl alongside to sprinkle over.

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