A bouquet of Basil arrived in my CSA and I was floored to get the rare and beautiful purple variety. I can't get enough of this plant: not only does its unique aroma and flavor enhance all pasta dishes, but the health benefits are tremendous. A super anti-bacterial herb, Basil provides protection at the cellular level, protecting cell structure and chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damage. It also contains a bunch of cool "volatile" oils that qualify the plant as an anti-inflammatory food, protect against unwanted bacterial growth, and is a great source of Vitamin A and beta-carotene (a powerful anti-oxidant which prevents free-radicals from oxidizing cholesterol in your blood stream), Vitamin C, Iron and Calcium. Now that's quite a mighty plant looking out for you! If you can't tell, we eat a lot of (Quinoa) Spaghetti in our household, mainly because it's simple (and quick and healthy and always delicious and exciting every time). The Basil bouquet inspired me for this version and bam, along came this very simple, homemade pasta sauce:
Tomato-Basil sauce with Summer Squash and Fennel 4 Organic Tomatoes, chopped 3/4 cup Basil leaves (green OR purple-- if you're ever so lucky) 2 Yellow Summer Squash, sliced 2 small Fennel stalks, chopped (use leaves as well) 1 small Shallot, chopped 1 big Garlic clove, minced 1 tsp. Sea Salt 2 tsp. Oregano 1 8oz. package of Quinoa Spaghetti, cooked and drained 2 Tbsp Oil (Olive or Grapeseed)
In a skillet, cook Garlic and Shallot in Oil for 3 minutes, till the smell just gets you. Add in chopped Tomatoes, stir and let cook over low heat for 10-12 minutes, till tomatoes are soft and can be crushed with your wooden stirring spoon. Add in Squash and Fennel, stir and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Lastly throw in Basil, salt, Oregano and generous Black Pepper. Let sit over low heat for another 10 minutes. Throw in cooked noodles to skillet of sauce, stir and serve.. Enjoy!