Yesterday, Iowa Girl Eats proposed that fresh basil has the smell most reminiscent of of summer, and I have to agree it’s right up there! I would also nominate the smell of barbecue chicken on the grill, fresh-cut grass, and sunscreen.
Basil also happens to be the only fresh herb I’ve successful grown at home (remember Mr. Basil!?). I’d love to try potting some other herbs and sticking ‘em out on my deck for the summer. Any suggestions for easy-to-grow, critter-resistant herbs I should try growing? (We have tons of bunnies, chipmunks, and squirrels!)
If you are as eager for summer as I am, here is a dish to get you in the mood, topped with – you guessed it – lots of fresh basil.
Your first step is to cook 8 oz. of linguine per the package instructions. Meanwhile, just follow along:
If tomatoes are in season when you get around to making this, by all means use fresh ones! I personally love canned tomatoes (I’m a huge fan of Muir Glen products), and use them for about 11 out of 12 months of the year, straying only for that limited window at the end of summer when Michigan has a plethora of juicy, ripe tomatoes.
As Cooking Light suggests, you can also substitute chopped kalamata olives in place of the briny capers, if desired.
The final step is to top with fresh, chopped basil, and serve!
This dish can certainly stand on it’s own – no side dishes needed. I happened to have a pack of Brussels sprouts on hand that were about to spoil if I didn’t cook them soon, so I roasted a few to accompany the meal.
This dish did not completely blow me away – I’ll be honest.
BUT… it was so EASY, FAST, and satisfying, that I do recommend it.
As someone in the Cooking Light recipe reviews suggested, “I can’t be Julia Child every night of the week.” So wise! This recipe from Cooking Light is a great candidate for busy weeknights when you just need something quick and healthy that comes together easily.
Pasta with Shrimp and Tomato-Caper Sauce
Recipe from Cooking Light
- 8 ounces uncooked linguine
- 2 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 12 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup chopped zucchini
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped
- 1/4 cup small fresh basil leaves
- Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; swirl. Add shrimp; cook 3 minutes or until done. Remove shrimp from pan.
- Wipe out pan with a paper towel. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil; swirl to coat. Add zucchini and onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add salt, red pepper, and tomatoes; lightly mash tomatoes with a potato masher. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 8 minutes. Stir in broth; return to a simmer. Stir in pasta, shrimp, and capers; toss to coat. Remove pan from heat; top with basil. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings
My rating: 7.4/10 noms