I am very enamored with my basil bush right now. It is August; temperatures are in the upper nineties and heat indexes are topping 100 degrees. Unlike me, basil thrives in this weather. There is just enough rain to keep it moist and because it's in a shady spot it hasn't gone to seed. This is the first time I have actually planted basil directly in the ground and not in a pot; I had no idea what a difference that would make.
With this plethora of basil I was craving something simple and herby. The dish is basically pasta with a rough chop pesto. Instead of emulsifying the basil with oil, cheese, garlic, and pine nuts I rough chop everything and toss it together. To bring out a more intense flavor I always toast pine nuts before adding them in. I also make this with pistachios and walnuts as a substitute.
Fresh Fettucini with Basil
1 pound fresh pasta noodles
3 cups (approximately) fresh basil, cut into chiffonade
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Boil the pasta and drain. Place pasta in a serving dish and add remaining ingredients. Toss until well combined. Serve hot or cold.