A Pasta to Remember Summer By

by Jenn on August 28, 2010

in Gluten Free,Pastas and Grains,Photography,Vegetarian

Summer Pasta

Summer is a three-month symphony that nature offers up to celebrate the beauty of the world – she gives of herself to us color and flavor, changing the tones through each movement.  In the beginning, the berries punctuate the markets and then also my breakfast.  Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, currants, oh how I love them all.  I almost think the produce alone could make summer my most treasured season.  But now we are nearing the end (as the fresh chanterelles cue us to the soon-approaching Autumn, less than a month away!) and it’s worth appreciating the current chorus of tomatoes, peaches, and plums.  This meal is to enjoy those tomatoes and chanterelles, marrying Summer and Autumn together in an easy one-dish dinner.

But don’t worry, I’m not completely moving onto pumpkins and apple pies just yet, there is still some Summer left to enjoy!  My favorite part of the season? Getting to spend warm sunny days with friends on a mountainside looking at the largest glacier in Europe.  One can only hike the Aletsch Glacier hike during the warmest months, when the weather is fairest.  We started our hike after a cable car ride that made us feel like we were floating in the air over the hillside and dropped us off at the top of Eggishorn, at 2900 m.

Cable Car Line

From there, one could look out over the edge of the trail marker dotted mountainside and see the Aletsch Glacier pouring down into the valley below.  The brisk 8C air seems surreal compared to how warm it was when we first entered the cable car.

Aletsch Glacier from Eggishorn

Descending some 600m elevation encountering some “friends” on our path….

Mountain goat

We made our way down to the glacier’s edge.  It’s amazing how it can be 25C outside with the bright sun radiating upon our soon to be sunburnt skin, us sweating in our t-shirts, and yet there is a giant block of ice towering over us, radiating a refreshing cool air as we sit on a rock snacking on some cheese and cured meats, admiring the enormity of such a thing and listening to the rushing water from below.

Aletsch Glacier

Only summer can bring us such an amazing opportunity.  In the Winter, the lower villages transform into ski resorts and the hiking trails become impassable.  We continue along around the mountain, seeing ever-more breathtaking views of the ice.  How soon it looks so small again!

Aletsch Glacier

Each turn I pause, stop, and take a breath of the crisp mountain air.  My mind is clear and constantly in awe at all around me.  Look, the Matterhorn!


Finally, the last long descent, to finish at 1900m elevation, a thousand meters below our starting point (but it sure seems easier than hiking from the other direction, eh?).  The light is starting to glow on the hillsides in the way that only early evening does as we arrive to our cable-car exit from what seems like a fantasy land.


One could easily see why the Summer’s rich bounty of garden delights alone would make it a favorite season of mine.  However, growing up in the Northeast US, I used to be all about the Autumn.  And there is still a very big place in my heart for the maple syrup, pumpkin pancakes, squash soup and the Whites.  But here, in Switzerland, it is the opportunity to go out and experience such indescribable beauty that makes Summer now win my affections.

Maybe I will change my mind as we enter our first Fall in Europe, but for now, Summer you steal my heart.  I’m not quite ready to let you go, so I cook simple things that highlight your tastiest jewels.  Like this pasta.  Tomatoes as rich as meat, and yet I crave like a child craves candy spotted in a window at the local chocolaterie.  Nothing complicated, just a reminder to appreciate Summer while it is still here.

Summer Pasta

A note on this picture: I made two bowls of pasta, as I usually do.  The one at the top is the pretty styled version, which is what I usually eat so that my husband can have the hot dish when we are eating a “future blog post” for dinner.  But it’s worth showing what non-styled looks like, so that’s what this picture is – ugly tablecloth, everything all mixed in together, lovely IKEA silverware.  It may not be as pretty as the top version, but it’s the same pasta.  Just as delicious :)

Also submitted to – Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays


Ingredients (for 2 servings):
4 oz. pasta (or gluten free pasta) of your choice
2 tbs. your favorite pesto
2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of fresh chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned & rinsed
A handful fresh basil
4 stem tomatoes, largely chopped
Your favorite cheese, sliced
salt & pepper if desired

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Once drained, stir in the pesto.
2. While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet and add olive oil.  Saute  the chanterelles until softened and browned a bit.
3. Add mushrooms, fresh basil, and tomatoes to the pasta.  Serve and top with slices of your favorite cheese and salt & pepper if needed.



branny August 28, 2010 at 4:56 pm

YOur pictures are breathtaking!

Jenn August 28, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Thanks Branny!!

Rosa August 28, 2010 at 5:20 pm

A lovely pasta salad! I really love your shots, especially the 3rd & 4th!



Jenn August 28, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Thanks Rosa!

GFree_Miel August 28, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Wow, what amazing photos! Switzerland looks like a great place to spend the summer. And the goats! Ah, I love goats so much. Not sure why. I think it’s their weird eyes that get me.

I want this pasta right now. It’s such a colorful dish, and it looks and sounds delicious.

Jenn August 29, 2010 at 1:41 am

Thanks Miel! Ha I was a bit nervous with them being so close to our path, but when we realized they didn’t really care about us I just sat down on a rock and saw this guy (or girl?) posing for the camera!

Teresa August 28, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Such Gorgeous scenery & photos!! The salad looks beautiful & very yummy too! I enjoy reading your blog so much! Thanks Jenn! you make cooking & eating gf enjoyable!

Jenn August 29, 2010 at 1:48 am

Thanks so much for such a great compliment! I’m so glad to make cooking & eating GF enjoyable to you, because that is really one of my main goals – to show that gluten free doesn’t have to be a limitation, and that there is still joy and flavor in GF meals :)

Anna Johnston August 29, 2010 at 1:11 am

I loved this post and got to see those amazing mountains. What an incredible day of hiking & ogling at natures best huh. Switzerland sounds so fantastic – I must visit.

Jenn August 29, 2010 at 1:51 am

Thanks Anna! And yes, Suisse would make a great vacation spot!

Ambika August 29, 2010 at 1:28 am

Beautiful pictures! And pasta with pesto is always welcome!!

Jenn August 29, 2010 at 1:53 am

Thank you! I combine pasta and pesto all the time, like you said, it is always welcome, at least in my kitchen! In the Summer it’s easy to make it fresh, but I’m not against using a really good jarred version either :)

Baking Serendipity August 29, 2010 at 1:45 am

Gorgeous pictures! And what a great summer pasta :)

Jenn August 29, 2010 at 1:53 am

Thank you!

Amanda August 29, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Those pictures are incredible!

Jenn August 29, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Thank you! I’m glad you like them!

Susi August 29, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Simply stunning! Those pictures make me want to go home to Germany and your pasta looks delicious! Thanks for sharing :o)

Jenn August 29, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Thank you! I have not visited Germany yet, but I def. plan to!

Jenn/CinnamonQuill August 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm

These photos…ahhh, these photos…! Gorgeous. And I’ll take an order of that pasta, please :)

Jenn August 29, 2010 at 6:04 pm


kateiscooking August 29, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Jenn – those photos are amazing!!! Lucky you to be able to enjoy that stunning scenery! Kate

Jenn August 29, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Thanks! And yes, I am lucky indeed!

Donna Spencer August 29, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Those are beautiful pictures! My niece moved to the French speaking part of Switzerland after college. She went for a year as a Nanny, didn’t like it, and started working in a restaurant. There she met her husband, and has never left. She has one child, a son who is around 25. She teaches in a college there. I haven’t seen her in years as I’m living in Oregon, and my sisters (her mother) lives in Maine. So, each year she comes back to Maine to visit, but we never go there at the same time, or same year. They own a vineyard, and her husband used to work as a mechanic on the local ski lift. So, seeing the lift and the mountains reminded me of Rae Ann, my niece.

Jenn August 29, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Sounds like your niece has had an awesome experience/life en Suisse! And to have a vineyard too, so cool!

InTolerantChef August 29, 2010 at 10:28 pm

It really does seem like a fantasy land, doesn’t it. We only get a smattering of snow on our surrounding mountains for a week or so, nothing like you. But it’s still cold enough to be miserable!
The second bowl of pasta is fine, it shows honesty and integrity, and that’s what feeding your family is all about after all. Good job.

Jenn August 30, 2010 at 5:57 am

Yes, the whole hike felt so surreal!

Barbara | VinoLuciStyle August 30, 2010 at 1:20 am

So beautiful; both the locale and the pasta!

Jenn August 30, 2010 at 5:58 am

Thanks !

penny aka jeroxie August 30, 2010 at 6:22 am

that is so beautiful. I had to back track a few times to look at that mountain. Nature is such a gift to all of us.

Jenn August 30, 2010 at 7:23 am

Thank you! Ha I’m sure our friends thought I was annoying how many times I stopped to take a picture, and I still couldn’t capture all of the wonder of the experience – it’s def. a hike I will be doing again.

Lamambalina August 30, 2010 at 10:09 am

Good, Good photos!!!!!

La Mam ( Spain )

Jenn August 30, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Thanks so much!

Tiffany August 30, 2010 at 2:35 pm

What a charming post! Fantastic photos, (doesn’t matter who thinks it’s annoying, keep it up!). I love your pasta recipe too, perfect for summer, thank you for sharing!

Jenn August 30, 2010 at 6:40 pm

ha, I’ll remember that on my next hike!

Ann Marie August 30, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Your pictures are absolutely fabulous. They look almost sureal! As for the pasta, it’s amazing how something simple can be so good! I have some simple pasta dishes that I could eat over and over. I can’t wait to try this one! Thanks for the post!

Jenn August 30, 2010 at 6:42 pm

Thanks so much! Some are hdr, which can give a bit of a surreal effect, which in this case I find helps to show what I felt I was seeing standing in such an amazing place!

torviewtoronto August 30, 2010 at 2:56 pm

lovely pictures

Jenn August 30, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Thank you !

Ivy @ My Simple Food August 30, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Absolutely gorgeous photos!! Great pasta recipe too. Looks good!

Jenn August 30, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Thanks, I’m glad you like it!

Joy August 30, 2010 at 3:25 pm

I love the different product summer provides. That is a great pasta recipe.

Jenn August 30, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Thanks! I too adore summer produce – had 5 minutes of heaven this afternoon biting into a juicy peach – I savored every minute.

Lindsay August 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm

Wow. those photos are fantastic! What kind of animal is that? It’s very something, I’m not sure but I like it a lot. lol. Your pasta looks delicious too!

Jenn August 30, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Thanks! Pretty sure it’s a goat. However I can’t be more specific than that!

Emily August 30, 2010 at 7:58 pm

This pasta dish is so colorful and pretty! And so are the pictures of your hike to the glacier, they are breathtaking! Congrats on making the Top 9!

Jenn August 30, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Thank you! I was so excited today when I found out, it totally made my day!

Kim (Liv Life) August 30, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Oh my goodness! Your post made my day. What gorgeous photos… I almost feel like I’ve gone of a little vacation today. Love the salad… it’s a perfect all around salad for any occasion. Thanks so much for such a wonderful post! And Congrats on the Top 9 as well!!

Jenn August 30, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Oh thank you! Glad I could send you on a little virtual vacation! Everyone needs one of those every once in a while :)

Sortachef August 30, 2010 at 9:24 pm

I was going to comment on how beautiful your pasta photo is, but heck – that’s nothing compared to the scenery photos on your site. Absolutely gorgeous!

As to the recipe, I love the idea of chanterelles in a salad. I can imagine that their earthy flavor balances the brightness of the other ingredients. I’m so going to try that… Thanks!

Jenn August 30, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Oh thank you! Yes – chanterelles + tomatoes & basil makes for a great flavor profile, definitely adds a depth element to the taste. That and well, I love chanterelles just about any way, they are one of my favorites. Hope you enjoy!

Valerie @ City|Life|Eats August 31, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Beautiful pictures! I also submitted an end of summer dish for this week’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday :)

Jenn September 2, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Thanks! Yes, after the weather this week Summer most certainly is ending…

Pam @ Cookingworld September 2, 2010 at 4:36 am


I love the picture of your Trip to Europe, bit jealous! I wished I was there, it looks simply lovely.

I guess, I have to make equally love pasta dish which is so tempting to make me feel better! Food is my comfort!

Jenn September 2, 2010 at 5:48 am

Thank you! Though it’s more than just a trip, we actually live en Suisse!

Linda September 4, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Looks delicious! I love all the photos. Thanks for sharing them with us.

Jenn September 5, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Thanks Linda!

Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten Free September 6, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Thanks for sharing a great recipe and your trip…your pictures are beautiful – as always! And, hugs for linking up to SIT!

Jenn September 6, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Thanks Amy!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: