Pasta Fresca for One

| March 5, 2006 | 4 Comments

Well, when I saw Sweetnick’s post about Weekend Herb Blogging, which Kalyn’s Kitchen hosts, I just jumped at the chance to share what I’ve just learned about basil.

You see, I’ve wanted to grow my own herbs for some time but I wasn’t sure where to start. I mean where do you put them, first of all? And what do you pot them in? And should I buy ones that are already growing or breakout the soil and seeds? Finally when I was doing the weekly grocery shopping yesterday, I decided to just jump right in and take the plunge with an already potted and growing basil plant.

So here it goes.

Care: According to the National Gardening Association, the plant should be kept “in full sun in moist, well-drained soil.” They go on to say (in another article on the subject) that basil plants should have six hours of full sunlight a day, and like warm environs.

Uses: This herb is great with tomato for sauces, bruschetta and salads. It is a great seasoning for Italian dishes as well. Basil is also used in pesto. According to Timeless Herb Secrets, basil can also make for a great bath. “You can make an invigorating beauty bath by adding a strong infusion of fresh basil leaves to your bath. Use 1 cup chopped basil leaves in 2 cups boiling-hot water. Steep for 15-20 minutes,” they write.

Legends: The Greeks once thought that only royalty should harvest this herb with a golden sickle, according to a column at Sally’s Place. Author Linda Gilbert also states that in ancient Rome, it was thought that basil could charm a fire-breathing dragon. Check out that column for some more fun tidbits.

Now onto my recipe to go with this fantastic herb.

Pasta Fresca for One

Yield: serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 oz marinated mozzarella (I used Cappielo's Marinated), diced

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in small frying pan over medium heat
  2. Stir diced tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper into pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes until tomatoes break down and sauce thickens.
  3. Toss basil with sauce and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes
  4. Remove from heat and toss with pasta (approximately 1 cup) and cheese
  5. Garnish with Parmesan and additional basil, if desired
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Category: dinner, pasta, Recipes, spices/herbs

About the Author ()

Sarah W. Caron is a freelance writer, editor and recipe developer. Her work has appeared in countless online and print publications including iVillage, BELLA NYC Magazine, Yum for Kids magazine and more. She lives in Connecticut with her two kids, two beagles and husband.

Comments (4)

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  1. Kalyn says:

    What a great post about basil (one of my very favorite herbs for sure!)

  2. Sarah says:

    Thanks! It’s one of my favorites too!

  3. Cate says:

    Great tips … nothing beats the smell of fresh basil.

  4. Isil S. says:

    I love basil,too especially in salads with delicous tomatoes ;)

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