Pasta with Tomatoes, Chard and White Zucchini, canning, French-style

The other night, as I was preparing the usual summer melange of tomatoes. chard and white zucchini, and wondering what new and innovative idea I could come up with I decided to hell with it….

Sometimes, one can stare at the day’s pickings from the garden and just not be the least bit inspired.

Mon mari had already started his grilled potato (he’s in such a rut!) so I decided to cook a bit of pasta for myself and toss my half of the veg with it.

Mon mari was jealous.


Pasta with Tomatoes, Chard and White Zucchini

Total time: 30 minutes  


  • 1 zucchini, white, yellow, green… about 7″ long (17cm)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5oz (150gr) chard, roughly chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp lemon vinegar
  • handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup pasta, penne, rigatoni

Pasta with Zucchini, Tomatoes and Chard


  • Cook pasta according to package directions.  When done drain.
  • Cut zucchini in half the long way, then into 1/4″ (6cm) slices.
  • Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add chili powder, onion and sauté 5 minutes.
  • Add chard, zucchini; turn heat to medium and sauté 5 minutes longer.
  • Add tomato, reduce heat and cook until tomato has softened and zucchini is tender, another 4 – 8 minutes.
  • Stir in basil, vinegar and pasta, sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.

Print Recipe

The question came up as to whether or not the locals ‘can’ or ‘bottle’ here.

The answer is yes – lots and lots. The stores are filled with canning supplies this time of year – as well as wine-making supplies.

I did when we lived in the Vendée. These are my pickles.

It’s different.

When I lived in the U.S. I used the Kerr ring and lid system.

That’s not an option here.

Here the only choice is the glass jar, lid and rubber ring system…. The kind that one is told not to use in the U.S.


The jars are wider then the ones I used in the U.S so my canning kettle and rack didn’t work, either.

So I got a French system…  A complete system, although I got the smallest canning kettle. The bigger kettle is twice as tall and would be impossible to lift up to a cook top.

Part of the system is the 3-legged gas burner. No need to heat up the kitchen, right? This way you can set it up anywhere, on the ground or on a table. All you need is the gas tank.

So, this was my canning set-up. I put up pickles and tomatoes from my potager; jams and jellies from the fruit in our orchard.

I just had to be done by the time we picked the grapes – that’s the wine press in the corner.


In case you’re curious about that – here’s mon mari shoveling the grapes after they’ve been crushed, getting ready for the pressing.


And in case you’re curious about that, here is mon mari and our friend from Spain pressing the grapes.

pressinggrapesI have no idea how old this system was…. The former owners showed us how to set it all up. There’s a hole in the corner where the juice runs down into a barrel in the cave.

Also, in case you’re curious, we had app. 600 vines and the first year made 300 litres of wine.

It’s a lot of work and the wine wasn’t all that wonderful.

If you want to read more about La Vendange, the original posts are here for the white and here for the red.

It was fun, but…. everyone wanted to come for the picking (1 day), but there were no offers to help with the trimming and cutting and spraying and mowing and tying (many weeks)..

If you want nutrition information, try this site: Calorie Count

6 thoughts on “Pasta with Tomatoes, Chard and White Zucchini, canning, French-style”

  1. Enjoyed the wine posts! I’m glad you explained where the juice went, I was trying to figure that out! Ah chard, I’ve not been able to face it for a few years after one summer growing it! Maybe I will grow some next season. Pasta looked great!

  2. Freezing often works as well as bottling and it’s easier. I freeze most things that I want to preserve. Not as pretty, however, as your clear glass jars of produce.

  3. Jayne, the whole wine-making thing was quite an experience. I’m not afraid to cut my chard off and toss it in the compost when it gets out of hand LOL

    Dan, you’re welcome!

    Kate, I think this system is pretty old, too. I remember my mother using ‘zinc’ ids and rubber rings…

    Ina, sometimes easy is also best…

    Zoomie, I think freezing is much easier – but one does run the risk of losing power – that doesn’t bother the jars.

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