Even on a small balcony there is usually room for a pot of basil. If you buy a nice healthy plant at the beginning of the season and look after it well, you can have Pasta al pesto at least once a week, and use the leaves for tomato salad and all sorts of things.
Basil is a real powerhouse of goodness. It contains Vitamins A K and C, magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium.
One of my sons adores Pasta al pesto and so I bought him a basil plant. He looked at it rather forlornly and said he much prefers it when I make it.
Pesto is really easy and quick to make and once you've tasted the home made version you will never buy it ready made again.
It's the one time when I use an electrical appliance for my cooking. I don't really like whizzing and whisking and slicing in sharp noisy bursts, my approach to cooking is more soft and gentle, but pesto has to be nice and smooth and creamy.
People from Liguria might raise their eyebrows at my recipe, they put in garlic and then often add sliced green beans and diced potato to cook with the pasta.
First wash and dry the basil leaves
Grate a chunk of Parmesan cheese
Put the pine nuts in the blender and give them a whizz, and transfer to a dish
Put the basil leaves in the blender and add some olive oil, blend well then add the grated cheese and ground pine nuts.
Season to taste
Cook your pasta, preferably linguine according to the packet. If liked add the chopped beans and diced potato.
Drain the pasta and mix in the pesto sauce.
You can make the pesto in the morning, cover and leave in the fridge. It is best eaten as soon as possible to preserve the vitamins and minerals.
|Herbs can easily be grown on a small balcony, sage, rosemary and basil shown here|
|Get your ingredients ready and prepare to whizz|
|Quick and easy supper contains, protein, fats, fresh green leaves and nuts, and of course pasta|