Cooking Cool Down: No cook sauces for pasta and lover’s herb basil

Old Wives Tale: To soothe an irritable summer mood, add basil to your cooking. Something to think about after driving for over an hour in 96 degree heat with the air conditioning threatening to die on you.

Linguine with Fresh Tomato Sauce: 1960s

julyphotos 014Makes 4-6 servings

  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 lbs. very ripe tomatoes; coarsely chopped, reserve liquid
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 lb. linguine
  • 1Tablespoon olive oil
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and stir 3 minutes. Do not brown. Transfer to bowl, mix tomatoes & all ingredients. Let stand 6 hours.
  • Boil water; add 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Cook linguine till done.
  • Place Linguine on plate. Serve with tomato sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Sweet Basil from the garden; such a wonderful aroma. The combination of fresh basil and chopped garlic remind me of northern Italy, the area north of Genoa. I keep a live plant in my kitchen though I admit to buying leaves from the local supermarket when necessary.

Pesto, Sweet Basil Sauce: Sandi, Diva, June & Barbara, 1973

This recipe calls for a blender but today’s food processor is quicker; the best results come from a traditional mortar and pestle.

  • julyphotos 0162 cups fresh chopped basil leaves, tightly packed in cup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cloves good size garlic
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  •   the meat from 2 walnuts
  • ½ to ¾ cup olive oil or salad oil
  • ½ cup Romano cheese
  • Cooked spaghetti or linguine

Put all ingredients in blender except the cheese. Run at high speed; stop often and push ingredients down, until consistency of a thick milk shake. Mix in cheese and warm in a glass container over hot water. Add a little butter if necessary. Pour over cooked fresh noodles.

To freeze: Omit the cheese and put into glass jar. Add a little oil to cover pesto paste. Work fast as mixture will darken. Variation: 1 tablespoon pine nuts may be substituted for walnuts. Parmesan cheese work well too.

Some Thoughts on Basil: Feeling High, a Lover’s Herb and increasing your cursing skills this plant has been around for centuries making its preview in Europe through the Spice Trails over 500 years ago.

Basil is said to contain similar compounds found in medical marijuana and may be used as a substitute because of relief without the high. Oregano too.

Basil seeds won’t grow into plants unless it’s planted with a heavy dose of cursing. So you may want to buy a plant ready for transplanting.

A pot of basil placed outside a woman’s window is a sign she is ready for suitors. Promotes peace and harmony between lovers too. Always have a sprig handy for those testy moments, especially if the day’s been hot.

Basil has always been grown as a culinary herb but was also used to treat stomach upset, colic, scabies, coughs, asthma, irritated and inflamed bowel conditions, arthritis, and menstrual in past history.

Add a glass of wine, crusty Italian bread and a background of classic Pavarotti!