(pesto spaghetti is perfectly accompanied by a glass of white wine)
I started thinking about a mountainous bowl of pasta, smothered in fresh pesto, the day we brought a teeny basil plant home from the nursery. Well, that moment of glory has arrived, and I made a bowl of pesto from our now-glorious basil plant. In India, many people have small alters outside of their home with a single basil plant growing from a colorful planter -- "tulsi" as it is called in many regions we visited, is considered holy for Hindus. Yet another reason why I enjoyed India -- they have their priorities on plants straight! I also worship basil -- the type of devotion where I love it so hard, think about it often and then make any form of it get in my belly.
The dish that really utilizes the pungent, sweet, smooth flavor of the basil plant is the basic pesto. Variations on the pesto theme are abundant and lovely -- you can get as traditional, regional or crazy as you see fit.
5 cups basil leaves (and a few stems)
7 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup walnuts
1 1/2 c good extra virgil olive oil
a couple good hard cranks of pepper
a good sprinkling of maldon salt
In food processor, blitz garlic first, then nuts, then the rest goes in and presto -- PESTO. So good on pasta, toast, a tip of a finger, crackers, you name it, I'll put pesto on it.
Note -- I ate this yummy dish and walked to Walgreens and, man, I had an extra bounce in my step; it really did give me flavor power!