This year we grew vegetables and we didn’t kill them (mostly)! I finally figured out how to keep basil alive. You wanna know the secret?
Lots of water, and lots of sun, and a fair amount of neglect thrown in there too.
So, because I finally learned how to keep basil alive…we had lots of basil that needed to be consumed. And consequently we ate a lot of pesto this summer. We also grew a ridiculous amount of tomatoes–cherokee purples, hillbillies, indigo, roma, and some orange volunteer cherries. My faith in tomatoes has been restored thanks to the heirloom varieties we experimented with this year.
6 C (2 big bunches) fresh Italian basil (loosely packed)
1/2 C toasted walnuts (or pine nuts if you’re feeling rich)
1/2 C grated Parmesan
1-3 garlic cloves, smashed
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 t pink Himalayan salt
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil (or more to taste)
For a dairy free version add 1/2 C more nuts and omit the Parmesan.
1 lb rotini/fusilli type pasta (for gluten free version use rice noodles)
3 Tbsp butter
1 lb pre-sliced cremini mushrooms
1 lb cherry tomatoes
salt to taste
Start a large saucepan with water to boil. Gather your food processor and put all of the ingredients for the pesto sauce in it. Blend until smooth, approximately 1-2 minutes. Set Pesto aside.
Once your water is boiling pour pasta and a dash of salt into water and cook until just tender. Depending on the brand of pasta this could be 6-8 minutes. Mushy pasta is the worst, try not to overcook.
While your pasta is cooking heat up a skillet and melt butter. Once butter is melted and bubbly add the mushrooms. Cook until moist looking and soft. Once the pasta is perfect, turn off heat, drain out water, and return pasta to saucepan. Add pesto sauce and stir until well coated. Stir in mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Enjoy!
For a toddler friendly version: keep the noodles, pesto sauce, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes separated. If there is a coup staged, or mutiny occurring, or if any portion of their food hits the floor, put it back on their plate and pretend like it never happened. Eventually mealtime will cease to be a battle of wits…we hope.