A sensitive creature, the basil in our yard has somehow determined that the world is basically a tire that has been set ablaze—and so it must grow profusely, while it can. It has grown so much that when I ask Nate to simply grab “a few sprigs” of basil for a little sauce I’m making, he comes back with an entire tree.
So, what the heck? I might as well make a basil pesto of sorts and throw it on some pasta. And while I’m at it, I won’t follow a recipe—I’ll just mash things together I’ve heard chefs on TV say while I’m keeping the cat away from Nate’s sandwich. In other words, I’ve not really been paying attention.
But here’s what I DO know for sure: The hand-held blender that we typically use for individual-sized milkshakes, works great for mashing, and then swirling, basil, garlic, almonds, salt, pepper, olive oil, and parmesan cheese together. You do have to pull the fresh basil leaves from the blades every once in a while (unplug the device first!), but other than that, it’s not too bad. To help the process along, I also chop everything finely before using the hand-held blender.
Here’s the “recipe” I used—the proportions are just guesses—so have fun!
— 2 1/2 cups of fresh basil
–1/4 cup of almonds, unsalted (should probably use pine nuts, toasted, but I only had raw almonds on hand, and I didn’t want to go to the store)
–3 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
–2 1/2 teaspoons of garlic, chopped
–1/2 cup of olive oil
–sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
–8-9 ounces of pasta, cooked, in salted water (no butter or oil)–drained.
Chop the basil and almonds and add them to a hand-held mixer basin or food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients, but not the pasta. Pulse on high until everything is mixed/chopped well. Stir. Mix in with the pasta and serve.
The sauce is fresh and rich tasting because of the olive oil, but not too rich. It’s a nice, quick summer meal because it doesn’t take a whole lot of prep, which allows for time to relax and unwind. And, while the basil is growing apocalyptically, serve this meal with:
Hurricanes (natural or the drink)
National Security Breaches
A cat that’s threatening to eat a sandwich that will cause all of the previously listed things (for the cat and probably the said owner of the cat).
Your Turn: What’s your favorite kitchen utensil and/or quick-fix meal?