Sunday, June 28, 2020

Betty's Pasta by Daisy Bateman #giveaway

MLK welcomes Daisy Bateman to the kitchen today--read all the way to the bottom for info about her giveaway! Welcome Daisy!

Betty’s Blistered Cherry Tomato and Ricotta Pasta

She finished serving up the dish of pasta, blistered cherry tomatoes, and basil, topped with a scoop of fresh ricotta and set it in front of Claudia, who thanked her friend and wondered, not for the first time, why she didn’t hate her. Betty was a city girl by birth, a self-described “culinary school dropout” who had taken to country life like a duck to a pond full of other ducks that all immediately fell in love with her. 

Claudia Simcoe, the protagonist of “Murder Goes to Market,” isn’t much of a cook. Fortunately, she has her best friend Betty living nearby, ready to serve her one of her effortlessly delicious dinners and scold her for eating too many frozen pizzas. This recipe is one she threw together when Claudia came over for dinner after finding one of her marketplace tenants murdered. It’s quick and easy and very summery, and a great way of using a surplus of cherry tomatoes if your garden is over-producing. 

Cherry tomatoes
Ricotta cheese
Olive oil
(Optional: garlic, shallots, parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes)

The quantities are very flexible here, so use as much as you like/have on hand. If you are going to add the garlic, be sure to add it near the end of the cooking, because otherwise it will burn.

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes to the hot oil and spread them evenly in the pan. Leave them alone, without stirring, for several minutes.

When you can’t resist any longer, and/or the tomatoes have burst and you can smell them starting to caramelize, gently turn them so they cook on the other side.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water. Fun fact! Did you know you don’t actually need to use a giant pot with a huge excess of water? It’s true! You can just add enough to cover the pasta, and it works just fine. Also, this is the only way I’ve found to get the really starchy pasta water people are always talking about, to add to your sauces. (Starting with a very starchy pasta, like this one, which was all that was left at Trader Joe’s when I was pandemic-shopping, also helps.)

When the tomatoes have had about all they can take, turn off the heat and tear some basil leaves into the pan. Save the smaller ones for later. Add a couple of ladles of pasta water from the cooked pasta and drain the rest, then add the tomato mixture to the pasta pot.

Serve in bowls, topped with a scoop of ricotta and the small basil leaves. A floral white wine, like a viognier or a dry riesling, would go nicely.

Daisy Bateman is a mystery lover, cheese enthusiast, and world-renowned expert in Why You Should Buy That. In what passes for normal life, she works in biotech. She lives in Alameda, California, with her husband and a cat, only one of whom wears a tuxedo on a regular basis, and a puppy on a mission to chew the whole world into tiny pieces. 

About Murder Goes to Market: If you had asked computer programmer Claudia Simcoe what she expected to come of her leaving San Francisco for the California coast to open a farm-to-table marketplace, “assembles a mismatched team to investigate a murder” would not have been her first guess.

Lori Roth is one of the tenants of the market, or she had been until Claudia learned that the hands making her “hand-dyed” textiles belong to overseas factory workers. Claudia terminates Lori’s lease, but her hopes that this will be the last she sees of her problem tenant are dashed when she arrives at the marketplace the next morning to find Lori dead, hit over the head with a jar of pickles and strangled with a cheese wire.

The police chief thinks Claudia looks like an easy pick to be the killer, and he closes the marketplace to put the pressure on her. So, Claudia has no choice but to solve the mystery herself. Relying on the tech skills from her previous life and some help from her quirky new friends, Claudia races to save her business and herself before the killer adds her to the region’s local, artisanal murders. 

Add your comment to be entered in the drawing for a $10 gift card to Books Inc., Daisy's local indie, which sells ebooks through Kobo.  (Gift card is also good for anything else, but Murder Goes to Market is currently only available as an ebook.)


  1. Cherry tomatoes, basil, garlic from our garden along with homemade pasta (my husband's new toy) leave only a few ingredients to buy. Sounds like a great recipe to try once the tomatoes come in. Thanks for this and mention of another mystery series to enjoy this summer.
    Can't get my google account to work, so unfortunately I remain anonymous.

  2. Congratulations, Daisy, on your debut mystery. I heard about your book from Leslie B. a few months ago and it is downloaded onto my Kindle app. Although I love pasta and have plenty of basil, I am sadly ALLERGIC TO TOMATOES so I cannot try this yummy looking summer dish.
    And I love supporting indie bookstores!
    grace dot koshida at gmail dot com

    1. Congrats Grace, you are the winner of Daisy's gift certificate!

  3. Wow! This looks like a delicious summer dish! Congratulations on the debut!

  4. This looks great. It's been really hot where I live and I've been looking for lighter meals.

  5. I hadn't heard about this book yet, it sounds good. And so does that pasta!

  6. The story line sounds fascinating.
    The recipe sounds like tasty simplicity.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  7. Looks like an interesting read. I will try the recipe. I put basil in everything 😊

  8. I absolutely love cherry tomatoes, I am going to try this recipe for sure.
    Can't wait to read the book

  9. Love your recipe. Perfect for summer. Every ingredient is a favorite. Great book. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. Welcome to the Kitchen, Daisy, and congrats on your debut!

  11. Claudia sounds like a fun character.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

  12. I'm not a big pasta person, but this recipe loos amazing. Going to give it a try.

  13. Appetizing recipe which I will make this week. Your book sounds entertaining. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  14. This book sounds fantastic, and the recipe looks delicious. Thank you for this chance! areewekidding(at)yahoo(dot)com

  15. Love going to farmers markets for fresh produce. Thanks for the recipe.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  16. This looks like a quick and easy summery pasta meal that is also very pretty!

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  17. Sounds fantastic positive DOT ideas DOT 4you AT gmail DOT com

  18. sounds like a recipe I could manage and a book I would read. from a fellow bay area resident, wskwared (at) yahoo (dot) com

  19. I am always looking for quick, easy recipes that use fresh veggies. I love going to my local farmer's market and getting "veggie candy", as I call it. Congrats on the new book, too. It sounds awesome! bentleyboy22(at)comcast.(net)

  20. Hi from Northern CA! I am already sick of the heat!! I would love to win your contest! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

  21. Love the recipe. The book sounds good too.

  22. Yum, Daisy! Perfect summer recipe.

  23. What a great story. Any cozies relating to food and or restaurants are one of my favorite themes . I’d love to read this book or listen on. CD or MP3 or on Audible as soon as possible! . Congratulations on your release. Thank you!