Basil is one of the best herbs to grow in your garden or even in a box on your balcony. It is lush, fragrant, and the perfect aromatic touch to many meals, especially tomato-based.
I personally put basil in everything—in fresh water, in desserts, even in a mojito instead of mint!
When I was in Parma, Italy, last week, I had a chance to participate in a great cooking class at Academia Barilla, and we made the best pesto I ever tasted! Here’s the recipe :
Choose your favourite pasta and cook it according to the time on the package.
Towards the end, add the green beans and the potatoes to the cooking pasta, about 4-5 minutes to the end.
In a food processor, pulse the basil leaves with the oil, garlic, pine nuts, and salt. Add the cheese at the end.
Drain the pasta, potaoes, and beans, and incorporate the pesto.
For more mouthwatering pasta ideas, check out these 12 To-Die-For Pasta Recipes To Make Tonight.
1. Eating gluten-free doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Think variety. Try a new recipe—for example, fresh fish seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and thyme, served with a fresh peas and mint quinoa salad, or a simple veggie and rice salad.
2. Think colour! Your meals will not only be very appetizing, but colour in fresh produce is a reminder that they contain vitamins and antioxidants.
3. Revisit your classics, in a gluten-free version, like a homemade pizza with fresh tomato sauce, basil, and your favourite garnish, served on a corn tortilla base.
4. Improvise with snacks. You can go from homemade popcorn and guacamole and corn chips, to a nice and colourful plate of fresh veggies with your favourite dip.
5. Cooking a meal for family and friends is a true gift of love. Avoid all processed foods and start creating your own signature dishes from fresh and seasonal ingredients. Not only will you be safe about gluten content, but you will save money and make a lot of happy diners.
6. Have fun getting organized. Plan your week menu ahead of time and involve your family in the process. You can make a menu calendar once a week, find the recipes you want to make, and even assign a member of the family to each one.
7. And best of all, you can still enjoy pasta night! Barilla makes the best gluten-free pasta on the market. I tested them with friends and one of them who has a celiac condition got nervous at one point, thinking he was eating classic wheat pasta. Chef Lorenzo told me that he and his team make up to 500 tests to find the right taste—it shows!