Late Summer Dinner with Grilled Bone-In Pork Chops and Tomato and Ricotta Salata Spaghetti

 You can tell that summer is quickly coming to an end.  It is getting darker much earlier and the nights are getting cooler.  The weather reminds me of our fall trips to Napa where it is warm during the day and cool at night.  With this realization we needed to get our Foodie Friends over for dinner and enjoy some really good wine.  So Saturday morning we called them up and invited them over.  We had them bring the appetizer because dinner to dessert was covered.  Hubby made a Bobby Flay Potato Salad he has come to love this summer and made his  Blueberry pie for dessert.  I was in charge of the rest of the dinner. 

I first took our last home grown Zucchini and sliced it up, placed it in a tin foil pouch with olive oil, kosher salt and red pepper flakes.  That was already for the grill when hubby cooked the pork chops.  This is a great way to cook vegetables in the summer.    I had visited our small garden that morning and  pick a whole big bowl of grape tomatoes, green peppers and some hot peppers that were suppose to be jalapeno’s but most definitely are not.  They are round, red and grow upward.  The grape tomatoes I would use in my pasta recipe, hubby would use the hot peppers in his salad and the green peppers would be for a later day.  Then I hit my herb garden and picked the chives, thyme, basil and rosemary.   There is nothing better than the fresh herbs right outside your door.  Sure beats paying  a bundle for a really small amount at the grocery store.  Pay that amount up front in the spring at the garden center and place them in a pot right outside your kitchen or in a small herb garden.

  • Tomato and Ricotta Salata with Spaghetti


5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti 
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) ricotta salata cheese, crumbled


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. 2. Place tomatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until tomatoes collapse.
  3. 3. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/3 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta and reserved liquid to pan; stir in tomatoes, remaining 4 teaspoons oil, remaining 3/8 teaspoon salt, basil, pepper, and cheese. Toss well. Serve immediately.
Grilled Pork Chop with Shallot Butter


  • (7-ounce) bone-in center-cut pork chops 
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons minced shallots
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind


  1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.   Sprinkle both sides of pork evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Combine oil, chives, thyme, rosemary, and garlic, stirring well. Rub oil mixture evenly over both sides of pork. Place pork on grill rack; grill 6 minutes on each side or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of pork registers 155°. Remove pork from grill; let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  2. Combine butter, shallots, and lemon rind, stirring well. Spread about 1 teaspoon butter mixture over each pork chop; let the pork stand an additional 5 minutes.

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