Basil: The smell, the smooth leaves, the taste, what's not to love? This wonderful herb is one of my favorites, with cinnamon coming in a close second.
Basil is one of joys of a Wisconsin summer and the recipes are endless. You can put basil on your scrambles eggs, in a salad, on a pizza, and, of course, the heavenly pesto sauce!
Over the weekend, my kids were thrilled to learn that Basil got it's name from the believe that this magical herb could protect you from the Basilisk, a fire-breathing dragon. Also, did you know that Basil was originally from India--not Italy?
In following with the first Yama in the Yoga Sutras, Ahimsa or Non-Violence, here is a vegetarian recipe using this fabulous spice. Use organic ingredients to stay even more with the idea of Ahimsa. This recipe is derived from my favorite cook book, Quick Vegetarian Pleasures, but with my own modifications.
Tortellini Tomato Pesto
1/3 c Toasted Pine Nuts
6 oz Tomato Paste (I love Muir Glen products)
1 c or more (I do love my basil) finely chopped basil
1/2 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 c Romano or other sharp hard cheese
2, or more if you're daring, cloves of Garlic
Salt to taste (optional)
Fresh ground Black Pepper
1 pound frozen Tortellinis
Boil the Tortellinis. While boiling, mix remaining ingredients in a bowl. Add a few tablespoons of the boiling pasta water to the mixture and stir. Drain tort's when done (after all of them are floating) and combine with sauce. Eat and enjoy!
Today is the first day of the rest of your life!