Let’s relish the summer memories with this Grilled Nectarine Pasta and an evening in a beautiful garden.
The Personal: Friends & Family
While I’ve started layering flannels and sweaters, there’s still so much summer I want to relive, relish, and share, including this summer garden party. We gathered at Hallowed Ground Homestead to celebrate the season, to combine our respective ingredients into one dish, and to give a warm welcome to Marlene’s parents. Finding bonds with my friends’ families has been a bonus to our friendships.
The Food: A Welcome Board
Cheese & charcuterie boards have become so synonymous with our gatherings that Marlene’s dad has coined the term “a Quelcy.” As in, “Look, I’m doing ‘a Quelcy,'” at which point, he’ll hover over a cheeseboard (or any table of food, really) and pretend to take a photo. I’m into it!
The Food: A Collaborative Gathering with Grilled Nectarine Pasta
What’s a collaborative gathering?
This is how my friend group often approaches dinners together. Each of us brings a component, we supplement from the garden, and we all pitch in with the prep work. (Admittedly, my “pitching in” is often documenting the process, but that does come in handy from time to time when we try to repeat an idea.) This approach makes dinner parties more approachable. With everyone pitching in, there’s less pressure on the host to cover all the costs, cooking, and clean up.
For this dinner, we combined Chris and Josh’s garden pesto with my surplus of Italian pasta. I brought corn and nectarines for Marlene’s grilling expertise. Everything came together to form a grilled nectarine pasta and salad that captured the sweetness of summer produce in every bite.
The Food: Smoked Spatchcocked Chicken
Marlene’s meat smoking and grilling habits are a huge perk of our friendship. She spatchcocked and smoked local chicken, then finished it on the grill (while Julep waited patiently for a few taster bites).
The Food: Meat Smoker & Grill Tips
If you’re interested in smoking and grilling methods, Marlene shares her tips and insights on her dedicated Instagram account.
The Food: Make it Vegetarian Friendly
This type of dinner party spread would work well if you’re hosting vegetarians at the same table. Even though we’re all meat-eaters, we served the chicken on the side to make sure we all received a fair share, then folded it into the pasta on our plates.
The Food: A Non-Recipe Recipe
The beauty of this grilled nectarine pasta is its simplicity. We brainstormed the flavor combinations we wanted and threw them together, so there are no official quantities or directions. If you want a more concrete guide to these flavors, try this Pesto Peach Chicken recipe from Half-Baked Harvest.
Of course, I couldn’t miss an opportunity to share my baking with the special guests, so there was dessert too – a Nectarine & Plum Frangipane Tart with Sweet Corn Ice Cream on the side. Stay tuned for that recipe.
The Mint ‘n Maple Corner:
It was just the minty girl, Julep, at this party. We didn’t think Maple was ready for a garden party yet. Too much freedom. Julep was a queen of restraint and was surely rewarded with meat snacks for her best behavior.
You Might Also Like: BYOT (Bring Your Own Toppings) Brunch Flatbreads
Here’s another chance for a collaborative gathering. You bake the amaranth flatbread ahead of time, then load it up with ingredients from friends. Find this recipe and more in my book, The Gluten-Free Grains Cookbook.
Grilled Nectarine Pasta
- pappardelle or fettuccine pasta
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- grilled corn
- grilled nectarines
- Fresh mozzarella or burrata
- Smoked/grilled chicken
- Fresh basil to garnish
- Prepare the pasta according to the package instructions and to your desired texture preferences. Toss the cooked & drained pasta with olive oil, then stir in the pesto. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the grilled corn, nectarines, and mozzarella, and stir to combine.
- Fold in the smoked/grilled chicken, or serve it on the side to keep the pasta vegetarian. Garnish with fresh basil.
- Alternatively: Serve everything over a bed of garden greens instead of pasta for a robust salad option that can serve as a main dish.