Pasta is a popular dish in our house, especially with the kids. In the fall we tend to make (and bake) a lot of it but the baking requires the (hot) oven, something we’re trying to avoid this summer. It seems cooking pasta on the BBQ is easier than you think. Serve with grilled maple brussel sprouts and bacon skewers and Island Ice for dessert for another Summer BBQ Sunday delight.
BBQ Baked Pasta
I’ve been avoiding the constant requests from my children to make pasta this summer due to the heat but then I thought perhaps it could be something we cook on our Weber BBQ. Of course the noodles have to be cooked in hot water, which I did in the kitchen ahead of time.
On our Weber Gourmet BBQ System Wok we cooked up some leftover chicken and some pine nuts with a little olive oil. When ready, we added the cooked pasta and the PC Black Label Vodka Pasta Sauce. Once everything was thoroughly mixed in, we put the pasta into a Pyrex casserole dish, topped with cheese and set it on the indirect medium heat on the grill for about 30 minutes (to an internal temperature of about 170F). The great thing about the Gourmet BBQ System is the Wok sits flat when mixing and it just pulls out and a grill fits in the middle for baking the pasta.
The PC Black Label noodles and sauce were amazing and baking the pasta in the BBQ added a nice smokey flavour that we just wouldn’t be able to get in the oven.
Grilled Maple Brussel Sprouts and Bacon skewers
Since I had a pot going on the stove for the pasta, I decided to cook up a few brussel sprouts too. I love these little green veggies though they’re not a favourite of my kids. I thought a recipe I stumbled upon in the cookbook Grill This, Not This, might just change their minds.
With the brussel sprouts cooked in the boiling water until slightly tender and the ends cut off, I alternated placing one brussel sprout on a skewer with a half slice of bacon (weaved on the skewer) and brushed with a little olive oil. These were then placed on mediaum indirect heat on the grill and turned until browned all around and the bacon was cooked.
After grilling, we took the spouts and bacon off the skewer and mixed in a drizzle maple syrup. These were so good and now my kids request these, along with Rosemary Corn on the Cob, every time we BBQ.
BBQs Mean Drinks and Pool Fun
Barbecuing has meant full days outside in the backyard. One of our best investments we made this summer was a pool. I’m not talking about a big excavation project to install an in ground pool (way out of our budget) or even a large above ground pool (too much work to set-up). I’m talking about an easy inflatable pool from Canadian Tire, just big enough to keep the kids cool during this hot summer. Sometimes entertaining the kids doesn’t have to be a big expense.
We’ve also kept a water station outside to keep the kids hydrated and avoid the constant in and out of the house runs. The Brita Space Saver pitcher holds up to five 8-oz glasses of water, great for a small glasses throughout the day, and the slim design means it doesn’t take lots of room in our cooler (a necessity for our BBQ Sundays) or the door of our refrigerator (when we’re not outside). The filtered water seems to have my kids drinking more water too. For an added treat we add some frozen fruit to the glass to keep the water chilled and add a slight fruity flavouring.
For me, I love the President’s Choice Sparkling Fruit Juice beverage. It’s not pop or juice but a little fruity carbonated water. It’s one of my favourite non-alcoholic drinks for the backyard. You can even get a Blue Menu version if calories are a concern.
When it comes time to enjoying dinner, a glass of wine is nice and easy. I actually had a glass (or two) of the Linden Bay Pinot Grigio. This is another light tasting wine, perfect for enjoying an alfresco dinner. We kept the bottle chilled in our outdoor cooler, great for keeping all drinks cold during a very warm Sunday afternoon.
Island Way Tropical Sorbet
My husband picked up a box of Island Way tropical fruit flavoured sorbet at Costco recently. The 10-piece box included individually wrapped treats with flavours like Pina Colada, pineapple, lemon, and orange mango. The kids loved the flavour but they loved the packaging even more. Each sorbet is served in the fruit’s shell. So the mango orange was served in an orange peel, the Pina Colada was served in a coconut shell. You get the idea. I loved this for presentation, a sorbet served in it’s own container that could then be composted. I’m not sure if coconut shells can be composted but we haven’t had a chance to try since the kids have been using them for other things like candle holders and sand diggers.
How are you enjoying your Sunday? What have you cooked on the grill?