Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Today marks my basil plants three week birthday!!! That is right; I, Allison kept a plant alive for three whole weeks. . I know it’s sad to be celebrating a plant surviving 21 days in my care, but I like to celebrate the little things!!! Normally, I have a black thumb. Many herbs have perished under my care within only a couple days. My last herb garden succumbed to disease. I am not kidding
To celebrate the birthday of my basil plant, whom I loving call Maria, I decide to harvest her to make pesto. (I don’t like tomato sauce and yes, I am quite serious.)
One of the things, I enjoy about this dish is you can prep the dish to be ready in 8-10 minutes. With little notice, it can be prepared for your loved ones. You can even precut the tomatoes and mozzarella, precook the asparagus, and make the pesto all in advance. Once your friend or roommate comes home, the hard work is finished. All that remains is to boil the pasta.
½ cup fresh basil
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ cup of parmasean cheese
¼ cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 clove of garlic
Salt to taste
Place all ingredients into a blender and thoroughly blend
Pesto Pasta with mozzarella, tomatoes, and asparagus
Yes, this recipe is vegetarian. That is simply because I did not have time to go to the store for protein. However, I find the multiple servings of vegetables and cheese exceptionally filling.
Serving for 2
8 oz of fresh mozzarella
8 oz of pasta (I like Barilla Plus)
5 small tomatoes
1 cup of asparagus
Pesto from above
Salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 350
Cut the asparagus into inch long pieces and then place them on a cooking sheet. Drizzle with a little Olive Oil and freshly ground sea salt. Cook for 5 minutes for crisp asparagus. Increase cooking time for softer asparagus.
Dice the fresh mozzarella into bite-sized cubes or strips. (You want the cheese cut small, so when mixed with the warm pasta it will get gooey and yummy)
Dice tomatoes into fork size pieces.
Cook pasta and drain. Mix pasta with pesto, diced mozzarella, tomatoes, and cooked asparagus. Place on a plate and serve. To spruce up the presentation, try garnishing with a few pine nuts and fresh basil leaves.