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Sunday, August 31, 2014


Rachel Ray has coined a short term for "Extra Virgin Olive Oil": "EVOO".  Well, I have coined a term for a little something I made up (though it may already be thought of, I don't know), it is "Basil and Garlic infused Olive Oil", or "BAGOO".

My poor Basil plant needs a little love.

Do you ever feel like your go-to weeknight spaghetti is a little boring on the tastebuds?  Maybe you're a really good person (GP as I call it) and you don't feel that way.  Well, I'm not a GP and I always want to yawn or go into a comatose state when we sit down to yet another spaghetti meal.  I have a real celebratory streak in me.  So I feel that meals should be a party in your mouth.  Or if not a Monday night party, then at least something to bring a hint of a smile to you and your beloved family members.

Hence I have created (once again, I may not have originally created this…Giada or Bobby or Ina may have already and I just don't know about it) the Basil and Garlic Olive Oil.  
This is all you need:
(you guessed it) basil, garlic and olive oil  

Instructions are simple.  Whatever pasta dish you're doing (spaghetti, pasta salad, or even macaroni)…just boil the pasta as directed on the box and strain.  You will then return the pot to medium heat and add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil (more if you're making a large portion).  You will then add minced garlic (amount depends on how much you like garlic).  Once the garlic is aromatic, you will add in the chopped basil leaves (amount depends on how much you like basil).  I like strong flavors (hence the party in the mouth), so you do the math. :)  Let that simmer for maybe 1 minute and then throw the pasta back to the pot.  Stir it around so that the oil covers the noodles and then remove from heat.  Now you can add the tomato meat sauce (spaghetti) or cheeses (macaroni), or pasta salad ingredients.  

This little trick serves to liven up whatever pasta dish you are preparing.

I have to admit, there is one celebrity I think of when cooking with Basil and Garlic.  Early in my dating days with my husband, we often cooked complicated recipes together instead of going out to restaurants.  Our soundtrack to these nights was often a trumpet player named Chris Botti.  Several years ago, we went to a concert of his at the Riley Center in Meridian, MS.  We got to meet him afterwards.
Chris Botti

I particularly like Basil, so that is why I do "Bagoo".  You may prefer another herb.  You might want to  make Cagoo (cilantro), or maybe Pagoo (parsley).  Whatever you decide, good luck with your flavor-infused dish.