Summer Harvest Pasta and Degustabox

Thursday, 17 September 2015

 photo DSCN3165_zps4yqdwr5r.jpg

I love this time of year when we have so much fresh local fresh produce to use.  Fresh courgettes (zucchini) and fresh tomatoes.   We'll soon be resorting to imports, so I am really enjoying using what we have locally at the moment while I still can!   I had seen this recipe on my friend Monique's blog and as soon as I saw it I wanted to cook it, and then when I saw my Degustabox I know that this recipe was perfect for using up some of the ingredients in this months's box!

 photo DSCN3022_zpsx2sl7q15.jpg

 To those not in the know,if you sign up for it,  once a month, every month . . . .  Degustabox will deliver to your home 9 to 14 new, special or innovative food products for you to try in the comfort of your own home via a subscription service.  A monthly subscription costs £9.99 and there is a delivery fee of £3, for a total of £12.99, and what you receive can be tailored to the types of things that you like and would use.   To me it's a bit like a foodie Christmas every month of the year!  I really love them!  

And with that I will get on with the business of telling you all about the August box!  I'll show you the recipe at the end of the post. 

 photo DSCN3023_zps4nvraufn.jpg 

WALKERS Shortbreads £2.00

  In 1898 our great grandfather, Joseph Walker started out with the mission to bake The World’s Finest Shortbread. To this day we carry forward the tradition of baking the finest Scottish shortbreads, biscuits, cakes and oatcakes, using our founder's original recipes.

Who doesn't love shortbreads?  Walkers have always been our favourite brand of store bought shortbreads and we both fought over who was going to eat these. hehe Yum! Yum!

 photo DSCN3024_zpsyri5tfyi.jpg

WILLIAMSON TEA - Ginger Grove £4.00

‘Williamson Tea Ginger Grove is an uplifting and warming tea. Fresh teas grown solely on the slopes looking down to Lake Victoria on our Kaimosi farm are carefully selected and then combined with real ginger pieces to create a tea that is revitalising, yet soothing for the body. This tea is pesticide fees and comes direct from our own farms.’

This smells really gorgeous.

 photo DSCN3025_zpsboahfvt1.jpg     photo DSCN3026_zpsuqb6h38e.jpg

RYVITA - £2.88 X 2

Baked with wholegrain rye, Ryvita Crispbread is the perfect crunchy canvas for a delicious and healthy lunch. Here are two of our favourites for you to try: Cracked Black Pepper Crispbread is full of goodness and will keep your taste buds satisfied. Or try Sesame Crispbread which gives a naturally nutty flavour.

I received both flavours and have been enjoying them instead of bread with my lunchtime cheese, tomatoes and cucumbers and with peanutbutter as a night time snack.   Scrummy!

 photo DSCN3027_zpsd0o5pigi.jpg

 1 of ech the Pick Up Dark Chocolate and the Choco Leibniz White @ £3.48

PiCK UP! & Choco Leibniz White PiCK UP! Choco Leibniz White: Delicious creamy white chocolate wrapped around a crisp cocoa biscuit. Choco Leibniz White's flavours work in perfect harmony for a truly luxurious treat. Available to buy from Asda, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Ocado.

  photo DSCN3028_zpsik1eoeoj.jpg

 Dark Chocolate: Pick UP! Dark Chocolate compromises of two light, crispy butter biscuits sandwiching a heart of deliciously rich, thick dark chocolate. It’s a perfectly indulgent afternoon snack. Available exclusively in selected ASDA stores.

We loved both of these.  But we love the Bahlsen products in general anyways!  Very Moreish.

 photo DSCN3029_zpssf2v31km.jpg


Organic Tea A beautiful blend of organic tea, juice and ginseng. Sweetened with agave, each blend is less than 90 calories per bottle, with no artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners. Non-carbonated and refreshingly light, they are the perfect pick-me-up morning, noon or afternoon.

 photo DSCN3030_zpspjxzktys.jpg

SCHECKTER'S  Organic Energy X 1

Scheckter's OrganicEnergy, a great tasting 100% natural energy drink that is Organic, Fairtrade, Vegetarian, Soil Association and Informed Sport approved.

INGREDIENTS Sparkling filtered water, organic raw cane sugar, organic lemon juice, organic pomegranate juice, organic elderberry juice, organic ginseng, Scheckter’s organicenergy blend (green tea, guarana, green coffee extract)

  photo DSCN3031_zpsxbw9oudx.jpg


LifeTonics Hydration PLUS – combination of efficacious, natural ingredients, which hydrate and refresh instantly. For people living high performance lives and looking for high performing products, Hydration Plus is just the tonic they’re after. LifeTonics Hydration PLUS delivers fast, effective hydration and ultimate refreshment.

The drinks boast credentials that see others pale in comparison due to a host of value added plus benefits: Coconut water, nature’s super hydrator; low calorie & GI natural fruit extracts – no added refined sugars; a raft of immune boosting vitamins and minerals; finished with powerful botanicals to swing you into well primed balance. Great tasting and gluggable, superior healthy hydration, available in three delicious flavours, Dalandan Orange, Coconut & Mint, Elderberry & Juniper. In addition, the LifeTonics formulations are Isotonic as well as being Low GI. Available in 500ml size, the range provides hydration on the go with only 3gm of natural sugars per 100ml and only 90 calories in the whole bottle.

 LifeTonics Hydration PLUS is currently available in selected WHSmith Travel Retail stores nationwide and going into Waitrose and TKMaxx stores from early August this year. More listings are planned throughout the rest of the year.

  photo DSCN3033_zps8hzuchux.jpg

DR OETKER - Mug Cakes  £2.37

NEW! Dr. Oetker Mug Cakes are perfect for creating an indulgent sweet treat or pudding in under 2 minutes. Simply add milk and microwave for 1 minute 10 seconds, then enjoy your tasty Mug Cake. Our Mug Cake range includes Rich Chocolate, Chocolate Chip and Lemon.

Who doesn't love an individual mug cake!  Delicious!  As you know I love Dr Oetker products.

 photo DSCN3034_zps8s5kal2p.jpg

FRU SNAX - Peach Slices with Vanilla Yogurt Melts

We hope you love Fru Snax. We take simple fruit and yogurt pieces and prepare them with care by freezing them, evaporating the water and locking in the flavour to give you a handy treat for any time of the day - and with less then 50 calories per pack they won't leave you feeling guilty!

These were absolutely flippin' gorgeous!  I want more!

 photo DSCN3035_zpsajk2tj9y.jpg

DELICIOUS ALCHEMY Oaty Cookie Mix 1 X £1.99

Delicious Alchemy are an award winning company dedicated to creating the very best gluten free food.  From cake and bread mixes, to tasty breakfast cereals.  The Gluten and Dairy Free Oaty Cookie Mix makes 10 crisp golden cookies, packed with oats and a wonderfully sweet syrupy flavour.

Love, LOVE!

  photo DSCN3032_zpswowhfy6t.jpg

Product of the month
BARILLA  £150 and £2.00

Penne Rigate:  Made in Italy with carefully selected durum wheat and unmatched passion for eating well, Barilla is Italy's NO.1.  Try Barilla Penne Rigate:   Inspired by the shape of an old style pen, with angled ends and ridges on the surface, they are praised for their ability to hold the sauce.

Arrabbiata:   Barilla's Arrabbiata sauce is a delicious blend of spicy chillies and 100% authentic Italian Tomatoes.  With no added preservatives, Barilla pasta sauce is cooked slowly to give a thicker and richer texture, and cling perfectly to yoru favourite Barilla pasta.  The lean shape of Penne Rigate is an ideal match.

 photo DSCN3164_zpsmviknwl1.jpg

The Penne Rigate was the product  we chose to highlight this month by making a recipe with it.

Mmm . . .  I love my pasta and this is good!

 photo DSCN3166_zpsost78jie.jpg

Of course I saw this recipe first on Monique's page, as she cooked it.     It looked so delicious.

 photo DSCN3167_zpspcbjibaw.jpg

And you know how these things go . . . She got the recipe from  Susan's Page.

 photo DSCN3168_zps9sle2bh7.jpg

And Susan got it from  Williams Sonoma.

It was good.   Very, VERY good.

 photo DSCN3170_zpsrcdrlp3g.jpg

*Summer Harvest Pasta*
Serves 4 as a side dish
Serves 2 as a main

The original recipe came via Savoring Time in the kitchen, who got it via Williams Sonoma.  I have adapted it to our own use. 

fine sea salt to taste
1/4 pound penne pasta
3 TBS olive oil
150g of frozen corn, thawed
1/2 tsp sugar
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 small courgettes (zucchini), trimmed and cut into half moons (about 1 pound)
1 medium brown onion, peeled and chopped
250g punnet of baby plum tomatos, cut in quarters (about 2 cups)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 tsp fresh oregano leaves
pinch of red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 TBS tomato paste
60ml of white wine (1/4 cup)
handful of fresh basil (Roll up tightly and then cut crosswise into thin slices)
90g mozzarella cheese, grated (2/3 cup)
30g Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated (14 cup) 

 photo DSCN3171_zpsmxadva0b.jpg

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.

Bring a large pot of generouslysalted water to the boil.  Cook the pasta according to the package directions, until al dente.  Drain well.   Rinse in cold water.  Drain again and set aside.
In a large oven proof saute pan, heat half of the olive oil.   Add the corn and sugar.  Season with some salt and black pepper.  Cook, stirring over medium high heat until the corn begins to lightly caramelize.  Scoop out into a bowl and set aside.  Add the remaining oil to the pan and continue to heat over medium high heat.  Add the courgettes.  Cook until golden brown on the edges.  Scoop out into the bowl with teh corn.   (You may need to do this in batches)

Turn the pan down to medium low and add the onion, 1/2 tsp of salt and black pepper to taste.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and becomes translucent.   Stir in the tomatoes garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes.   Cook, stirring occasionally to soften the tomatoes.   Stir in the tomato paste and the wine.  Cook to creat a thickish sauce.   Stir in the pasta, basil, mozzarella cheese and half of the parmigiano reggiano cheese, tossing together to combine.  Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.   Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until warmed through and golden brown.   Serve warm.

 photo DSCN3175_zps1k8xvg7y.jpg

Many thanks to Degustabox for sending me this box. I have to say I really look forward to getting my box each month.   There are always lots of things in it to enjoy and new products to try out.  I highly recommend.  You can also tailor the boxes to your own likes and dislikes by filling in your own Taste Profile.  I also have a code which is worth a £3.00 discount when registering.  Simply use the code:  NEHFF

Do check out the Degustabox web page for more information and details.

Follow them on Facebook
Follow them on Twitter


  1. Just the Walkesr shortbread:)♥
    Funny..I still love those even though I bake all kinds..
    I like that ADAPTABLE..and isn't it pretty?

    1. It was gorgeous and we really enjoyed it Monique! xoxo


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you so do not be shy! Please don't attempt to leave spam or comments with links. They will be deleted immediately. I don't even read them. Your comments will also not be posted if they are nasty either to myself or to other readers. Play nice.