Saturday, August 24, 2013

What do you make with all your Basil?

So a few months back I was at Hagens in Burlington, and they had a steal for Basil Plants.  They were 2.99 each and I simply knew I was buying one.  I ended up buying two.  They came home with me and alongside my two other basil plants I was growing from seed, they became huge!  And then I knew I was in trouble... what was I going to do with all this Basil?

Last week, after I knew that daily watering was a must, and that a few were starting to bolt, I knew it was time.  I had to make something with all this Basil.  Being me, I've added it to Panang Curry, spaghetti, Caprese Salads, and next I'll be drying some for winter.  But the jar of Creamy Pesto from Costco reminded me that  I like Pesto Pasta.  It's a new favorite in our household.

So I figured that I'd look up how to make Pesto.  An hour later I knew I had a few options.  But one thing, I've heard stories about Pine Nuts, and I can recall how expensive the buggers are.  So more research went into Pesto without nuts.  And sure enough, I found tons of variations.  So armed with my new knowledge, and all my fresh basil and my little food processor, what I created was divine!

3 cups basil
2-3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
Splash Lemon Juice
1/2 cup Olive Oil
Salt/Pepper to taste

1. Pulse Garlic
2. Add Basil & Cheese
3. Drizzle in Olive Oil
4. Add Lemon Juice
5. Season to taste, adding more olive oil or lemon juice as needed.

Freeze in Ice Cub trays, pouring olive oil over the tops.

When frozen solid, pop them out (had to do the running water -upside down trick), and put them in  freezer bag, where they'll stay good for at least a year! ( Can you say FoodSaver bags and they're good for up to 2 years, if they last that long?)

So, now you want to know what we do with this goodness?  We make Presto Pesto Pasta!!

Presto Pesto Pasta

Prep time:  5 Minutes      Cook Time:  15-20 minutes    Feeds: 2-3 people

1 homemade frozen presto pesto
Olive Oil
Optional:  Cream, Parmesan Cheese

How to make Presto Pesto Pasta
1. Gather all your ingredients, leave the pesto cube in the freezer until it’s ready to be used
2. Add Pasta noodles to pot, cover noodles with at least an inch of water, adding a dash of sea salt and a splash of olive oil to prevent sticking
3. Boil pasta noodles over medium heat until al dente (7-10 minutes)
4. Drain pasta & rinse with cold water, set aside
5. Add Presto Pesto cube to pot
6. As cube thaws, add up to 2 tbsp of olive oil, stirring constantly.
7. If you would like CREAMY Presto Pesto Pasta, at this point you can add the cream (slowly)
8. Add the noodles back to the pot
9. Add a pat or two of butter, stirring to coat the noodles in the pesto goodness…
10. Once coated, remove pot from heat source.
11. Season with Salt & Pepper to taste, adding any Parmesan cheese at this point
12. Serve Warm with a crusty French bread!

Variations:  Add Chicken, Sausage, or Prawns to make this a full meal!

Sorry there is no picture of the final project.  We ate it all!

So.. What have you done with your Basil?

PS - Enjoy!!

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