We’re all missing travel at the moment. One of the great ways that we can traverse across the world from the safety and comfort of our own kitchen is through food! If you’ve been dreaming of enjoying a gondola ride through Venice or visiting the leaning tower of Pisa, a tasty tomato basil pasta sauce might just do the trick!
Tomato basil pasta sauce has long occupied an important place in the history and food culture of the Italian people. The distinct, aromatic taste of basil elevates any pasta dish and pairs well with a number of different herbs and vegetables. Read on to find out more!
All about basil
Basil is a leafy, fragrant herb that goes well with many ingredients commonly associated with pasta. It is an annual plant — meaning it grows all year round — and the shrub itself can reach a height of up to 1.5m. The word ‘basil’ comes from the Latin term ‘basilius’, meaning ‘royal plant’. It is believed that basil was originally used as a main ingredient in royal perfumes worn by kings and queens.
There are many, many different types of basil available. Some of the most popular include sweet basil, purple basil, and lemon basil.
Basil has an undeniable taste, but it can be hard to put into words the herb’s exact flavour palette. It is often described as achieving a good balance between savory and sweet with a slight hint of anise or liquorice.
While basil is an extremely mainstream fixing in pasta and different dishes, it has numerous different employments. especially when treating stomach torment, kidney contaminations, and head colds.Traditionally, basil was utilized in Chinese people medication,
Basil also forms an important part of many spiritual traditions and rituals. In the Jewish tradition, basil is often worn as a symbol of strength while fasting. For those that follow Hinduism, basil is a sacred plant that is believed to be an earthly manifestation of the goddess Tulsi. Basil is often placed in the hands of the dead to ensure a safe journey to the afterlife.
When it comes to using basil in cooking, it is generally used as either a garnish or added to a cooking pot last, as high temperatures can have a negative effect on the flavour.
Your guide to pasta sauce
Now we’ve learnt about basil, it’s onto pasta sauce!
Pasta sauces can be broadly divided into three main categories: red, green, and white. Coincidently, these are also the colours of the Italian flag!
Red pasta sauces are those that feature a tomato base. They tend to be rich, thick, and are often filled with healthy and delicious veggies. Popular red pasta sauces include tomato basil pasta sauce, bolognese, amatriciana, and marinara.
Green pasta sauces don’t always share the same main ingredient. Sometimes, as is the case with pesto sauce, basil may form the base. Other times, a green pasta sauce might be chock-a-block full of green veggies, including broccoli, spinach, zucchini, and kale.
Finally, white pasta sauces. These tend to be very thick and are often built from a base of cream and cheese. A white pasta sauce is also known as a bechamel sauce and it is typically served with a limited number of other ingredients, to really let the flavour of the sauce shine through.
A tasty recipe to try
Feeling inspired? Why not try this delicious recipe, which features tomato basil pasta sauce as a main ingredient.
Classic seafood pasta
In this case, the tomato basil pasta sauce complements the flavour of the fresh white meat perfectly Seafood pasta is often paired with a light sauce — . Serves 4.
- 1 jar tomato basil pasta sauce
- 200 g calamari
- 200 g shrimp, deveined
- 340 g dried pasta
- 5 cloves garlic
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- Fresh basil leaves, to serve
- To start with, make sure your shrimp are fully peeled and deveined
- Slice the calamari into small, half-inch rings.
- Peel and mince the garlic.
- Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large pan.
- Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes, until it starts to brown.
- Add the red pepper flakes and cook for a further minute, stirring well.
- Jar of tomato basil pasta sauce and allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a separate large pot, heat water and cook pasta according to packet instructions.
- Drain the pasta, setting aside half a cup of the pasta water.
- Once the sauce has been simmering for approximately ten minutes, add the shrimp, calamari, and pasta water.
- Cook for approximately five minutes, mixing well.
- Add the cooked pasta to the pot and mix well to combine.
- Serve topped with fresh basil — enjoy!