I started sweet basil from seed this spring so I would have plenty for freezing to brighten up meals in the winter. I tucked it away in various garden locations when it was still a bit too cold for basil and then forgot it. Thankfully, at least 2 plants made it. They’re small but particularly beautiful and fresh looking.
When I rediscovered the basil, I had to celebrate by using some for dinner. I didn’t feel like making pesto per se —- but I used pesto ingredients to make a dish with organic whole wheat flat noodles.
This is the kind of recipe that you can easily change around to suite your own tastes. You might want to try it my way first and then make changes the next time. I think you’ll find the flavor very delicate and enjoyable.
Ingredients for Pasta with Pesto (Sort of) — Serves 2 to 4 as a main dish meal. Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish.
- 1/2 cup of organic walnuts — chopped but not pulverized (I wanted to taste little pieces of walnut throughout.)
- 3 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
- sweet basil leaves – finely chopped – (I picked about 45 medium sized leaves. I thought it needed a bit more but Bill is the one with the ultra sensitive taste buds. And he said it was just right. So it depends on your tastes.)
- oil – about 1/4 to 1/2 cup (I use organic olive oil.)
- About 4 cups of the dried whole wheat flat noodles. (Place in boiling water and boil gently for about 6 or 7 minutes. Drain.)
- Optional: 1 patty of butter
After you put the noodles on to cook:
Pour about 2 tablespoons of the oil into a stainless steel skillet. (Make sure it coats ALL of the bottom of the pan.)
Put chopped garlic in an oiled stainless steel skillet.
Turn heat to medium and let garlic heat and start to sizzle. Lower heat. Then add chopped walnuts and distribute over the entire bottom of the skillet. Let them ‘roast’ just a little. Careful with the heat. You want the garlic and walnuts just slightly roasted, not burned. Then remove the pan from heat.
Place drained whole wheat noodles in the skillet on top of the garlic and walnut mixture.
In a small bowl stir chopped basil and about 2 or 3 tablespoons of oil. Spread this mixture over top of the noodles in the pan.
Gently toss/mix with utensils until all ingredients are distributed throughout the noodles.
Optional: With a fork take a patty of butter and rub over the top of individual servings.
Salt to taste. (You may not find it necessary. I like to add just a sprinkle.)
- I served mine with fresh tomatoes, thinly sliced cucumbers and red onions from the garden. The cucumbers and onions had a splash of white wine vinegar on them and a dash of salt.
- If you have fresh cherry tomatoes, you could cut them in half and lightly toss about a cup full into the noodles.
- A leaf of fresh basil would have been perfect to top of the looks of this plate. I don’t know why I didn’t think about it until it was too late.
Be Prepared for Great Winter Dishes
This recipe would be great in the cold of winter. Chop your basil now and mix it with oil and freeze. You’ll be ready this winter to have a dish that reminds you of summer.
All content and photos are copyrighted by TendingMyGarden.com. All rights reserved.