The first time I really REALLY tasted basil in its' fullest flavour was when I first landed in Italy as a 16-year-old. We arrived during ‘riposo’ or siesta time and the only meal available in the one shop that was open was tomato and basil on toast.
Thirty-two years on and I can still remember the taste of that vibrant basil, blending with the fresh succulent and sweet tomato, drizzled with perfectly balanced olive oil.
The beauty of this meal is that I thought it was a compromise, all we could eat with everything else in Italy being closed, but in fact that simple meal is one that has stayed with me forever.
These two recipes are a celebration of simple ingredients done well, as well as a celebration of our new From the Farm products. Find everything you need to make this dish in our Fitzroy store, or online.
- Kylie Italiano
Simple Tomato Basil Salad
- 4-6 tomatoes
- 6-8 basil leaves
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – either Classic or Robust
- Salt & Black Pepper to taste
- Crusty Bread
Put the crusty bread in the oven on 180 degrees C for 10 minutes or slice and toast.
Chop the tomatoes in chunks or in slices – whatever you are in the mood for. If you chop into chunks place is a salad bowl. If you slice, then layer on a serving plate.
Tear the basil leaves apart and sprinkle over the tomatoes. Drizzle with Olive oil
Break the bread and have in chunks or half slices surrounding the salad or in a bowl to the side. This is perfect for scooping up the tomato juices and oil at the end!
Add the salt just before serving as this starts to release the juices of the tomatoes as soon as it is sprinkled over them. Have the black pepper on the table for everyone to help themselves.
Place the salad on the table, not the fridge, ready for your meal.
Creamy Pesto Pasta
We only use the best ingredients in our basil pesto which is why it is so addictive! Blend it with fresh cream and parmesan and you have the best comfort food one could wish for!
- 600gm Hand Rolled Durum Linguine
- 1 teaspoon Classic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 4 cloves of minced garlic
- 300gm Pure cream
- 250gm Milk
- 100gm Pesto
- 50gm Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Salt to taste
Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.
Heat a large fry-pan on a low to medium heat and the olive oil, butter and garlic and cook until the butter is melted, and the garlic is just starting to change colour – approximately 2 minutes.
Pour in the pure cream, milk, and pesto and stir for 2 minutes. Turn the heat to low and add the parmesan cheese until it is melted.
Set the table with pasta bowls, salad plates, fork and spoon and parmesan. Get a heat mat ready for the hot pasta and have everyone sitting down before you put the pasta into the pot to cook.
Cook the linguine for two minutes in the boiling water.
Once cooked, take the pasta out with tongs, and put it straight into the fry pan with the sauce. Toss to combine, then taste and add salt to balance. If the sauce feels too thick, add a little of the pasta water to thin it – but just a touch or it will dilute the flavours.
Take the pan to the table or transfer to a serving bowl.