Meatless Monday: Late Summer Edition

Basil, tomatoes and more basil…
Not only does fresh basil add flavor, but it’s great for stress, PMS and hangovers. Plus it’s everywhere this time of year, easy to incorporate into recipes, and a big hit with the toddler set. My 2 year old isn’t all that keen on eating the actual leaves, but he loves pasta with pesto and tomatoes with mozzarella.

Time permitting, I love making my own pesto but at 34 weeks pregnant the last thing I felt like doing last night at 7pm was whipping out the food processor. So instead I stopped at the local farmstand and picked up some of their homemade pesto…plus basil, tomatoes, one red onion and fresh buffalo mozzarella. While the water for the pasta boiled, I washed and dried the basil and sliced the tomatoes, onion and mozzarella. I sprinkled with a touch of sea salt and drizzled with high quality balsamic vinegar. Once the pasta was cooked (I like to use orecchiette), I drained it, put it back in the pot and mixed it with a few spoonfuls of pesto. One advantage to making it from scratch is that you can use extra basil and less olive oil and cheese to cut down on the fat and calories, but either way, I find that if you don’t drain off all the cooking water and combine the pasta and sauce in the hot pot, a little goes a long way.