I’m so excited…the weather is finally beginning to warm up and things are beginning to grow! Since we recently moved I have to start a new garden. Luckily, our local nurseries and home improvement stores are full of plants I always like to have fresh herbs growing and basil is one of my favorites. It is so easy to grow and gives a great flavor boost to any dish. I used fresh basil to make Pasta Margherita. I have to say it took some serious self-control to only eat a serving.
Basil is especially rich in vitamin K, vitamin A and beta-carotene. Basil also has flavonoids and small amounts of the nutrient: magnesium, calcium, folate, potassium and iron.
Vitamin K: important for proper blood coagulation and bone health
Vitamin A: promotes healthy eyes, skin, and hair
Beta-carotene: helps protect the body from free-radical damage.
Great for Grilled Foods
Research suggests that using fresh herbs in meat marinades before grilling may help reduce heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which are potentially carcinogenic chemicals created when meat is cooked over high heat.
How to Store
Fresh basil will keep up to four days in the refrigerator if you wrap it in slightly damp paper towels and seal it in a plastic bag. Tear basil leaves by hand or use a plastic knife to cut them; it prevents discolored edges.
Pasta Margherita is a quick and easy dish for any night of the week. If you are looking for a healthy meatless dish you have to give this a try.
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, pressed
- ¼ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 10 oz grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
- 12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 pound linguine pasta
- Whisk oil, garlic, basil, salt together in large bowl. Add tomatoes and mozzarella then gently toss to combine; set aside.
- Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain well.
- Add pasta to tomato mixture and gently toss to combine.
- Serve immediately.
In about 10 minutes you can create a delicious and satisfying meal. This is a perfect dish to highlight the fresh taste of tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and fragrant basil. Give it a try and let me know what you think.