I am having a love affair with basil. I hardly know when it began but I suspect it started the first time I made pesto.
It was all downhill from there. I was sad when it went out of season and the basil rack in the grocery store herb section remained empty for a few months. It looked so lonely there next to the tarragon and other herb racks. I wore a big smile when it returned.
I was originally going to make regular old spaghetti last night. I didn’t particularly feel like cooking anything big and pasta just sounded good. Then I discovered I didn’t have a whole lot of pasta left in the pantry, maybe half a serving. So, I pulled the frozen shrimp out of my freezer, some diced tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese and BASIL.
When I bought two packets of fresh basil Thursday, the cashier asked me what I would use it all for. I originally only needed it for the Thai dish, but I figured I would find other uses for it. 🙂 The cashier pointed out that adding fresh basil to a dish just makes it seem so much fancier.
Ingredients: Whole wheat pasta cooked according to directions, shrimp (I used about 15 pieces), diced tomatoes (I used about half of a 15 oz can), 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 cloves garlic chopped, chopped fresh basil (as much as you want), parmesan cheese (also as much as you want)
Directions: Thaw shrimp and cook pasta according to directions. Then, cook garlic in olive oil over high heat for a minute or two before adding the shrimp. Cook shrimp until they are pink and remove from high heat to then add pasta, tomatoes and basil to the pan. Return pan to burner over a low to medium heat and cook for a minute or two. Transfer dish to a plate and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
You know when Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the “no carb left behind tour” in Eat, Pray Love. I could totally get behind that! I could eat pasta all the time. Actually, there’s more shrimp than pasta in this dish. But the basil and garlic are really what gives it that extra kick. It really wasn’t a dish that could be screwed up (those are my favorite kind!) and it tasted really light and fresh because I used the tomatoes and basil instead of a heavier marinara sauce.
Well, enough blogging for the day! My morning has consisted of finishing American Lion by Jon Meacham (bio on Andrew Jackson — well worth the read for history buffs), watching State of the Union on CNN (Candy Crowley is just kind of awesome) and blogging. So, time to get moving and go meet my friend Lynn for an early lunch.