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Richad Rudisill -

The Garden's Bounty

Posted: Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

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Chef Troy Gagliardo

CChef Troy Gagliardo is a self-taught chef that has parlayed his years of kitchen experience into many other culinary ventures. Including a proprietary spice line, cook books, commercials, food styling, cooking/restaurant columns, endorsements, cooking classes, and live appearances. Troy has been voted as one of the Charlotte’s Top Five Chefs two years in a row by Creative Loafing readers. Chef Troy has appeared in two national commercials with NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and joined him for a media tour day just days before Dale Jr. won his second Daytona 500 to start the 2014 NASCAR season. For the past seven years, Chef Troy has appeared each week on Charlotte's morning show WCCB News Rising, cooking his way through "Troy’s Everyday Eats". Filmed live each week at the WCCB Charlotte studios, Chef Troy teaches his unique style of food with a simple Warren publishing recently signed Chef Troy to publish his new cookbook entitled Pseudo Southern-a playful twist on the art of southern cooking, which has been endorsed by Top Chef Alum and best-selling author Fabio Viviani and also star of “A Chef’s Life” Vivian Howard. Fabio said of Pseudo Southern, "Southern food is my second home. It's as close to my heart like Italy is, and that is why I love Troy's recipes so much. They remind me of the childhood I would have had if I was born in the south”. Vivian had this to say, “Troy’s take on southern food is just left of center, fun, and refreshing. His recipes are approachable that even the most jaded cook will be intrigued to try.” Chef Troy is also a free-lance food writer for the Charlotte Observer and Examiner.com and lives in Mooresville, NC with his wife Tracy, of twenty-three years, and their two daughters, Ally and Isabella. He can be seen every Tuesday morning from 7-9 am on WCCB News Rising.

As summer slowly ticks away gardens everywhere are still producing tons of vegetables. Farmers markets are over flowing with all kinds of summer vegetables. Tomatoes and squash are a couple of items that you have probably given away more than you eaten and are still up to your ears if you planted this year. This dish, simple as it is, even makes a great meal.

There is no real pasta in this recipe, just squash cut in the shape of penne. So for all those cutting carbs or gluten free this one is or you. For moms trying to get dad and kids to eat more veggies, this one is for you. For you couples or bachelors on the receiving end of these summer time gifts from co-workers or neighbors here is your chance to help use up some of the gardens bounty.

Fresh tomatoes are perfect for this recipe, but whole peeled canned will do the trick a pinch. By simply removing the skin using boiling water and an ice bath the texture of this dish will be free of those hard to chew pieces of the tomato skin. Not only this dish super tasty, it is also really good for you and quick to put together.

Feel free to use yellow squash if you have those, they will work equally as well. Give this one a try and pass it along to all those in need of using up all those wonderful summer tomatoes, squash and fresh basil.

Zucchini Pasta with Summer Tomatoes

• 2 Each-Beef Steak Tomatoes
• To Drizzle-Olive Oil
• ¼ Cup-Red Onion-small dice
• 2 Cloves-Garlic-chopped
• 3 Tablespoons-Tomato Paste
• To Taste-Chef Troy’s Spice Mix
• 2 Pounds-Zucchini Squash-small to medium size
• 2 Tablespoons-Basil-chopped plus extra for garnish
• To Taste-Parmesan Cheese-grated


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and set up an ice bath.
2. Cut a small “X” in the bottom of each tomato just through the skin.
3. Place in boiling water for 45 seconds, remove and place directly in ice bath for one minute.
4. Remove tomato, peel skin off tomato starting where “X” was cut into bottom.
5. Remove core of tomato and cut up into bite size pieces.
6. Warm a large sauté pan over medium high heat and drizzle in a couple tablespoons of oil.
7. Add tomato/onion/garlic and season with Spice Mix
8. Cook, stirring frequently until onions begin to soften, 3-5 minutes and add tomato paste.
9. Stir to melt in paste and incorporate into vegetables.
10. Add zucchini/basil and toss to cook until just warmed through and firm to taste.
11. Serve immediately garnish with parmesan cheese and basil.

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