A Bouquet of Summer Basil

All right, so I did some gardening today.  No, I don’t have a green thumb at all, but a couple of flowers, I can plant.  Nothing complicated, just a few marigolds in the planters in front of my house, and a little basil in a pot in the picturebackyard.  That, I do every summer.  I want to look out of my kitchen window and see my basil (and rosemary) grow nice and bright green, healthy and erect in a terracotta pot. So exciting, you know? chopping onions at the counter, the golden extra-virgin olive oil shimmering in my sauté pan, knowing that, in a few, while the onions sizzle gently in that precious   liquid, I’ll step outside and pull a handful of my homegrown basil to perfume my special sauce.  Yes, summer, vibrant flowers, carefree birds, aromatic herbs in my garden…Years ago, when we lived in lovely Eastchester, thrilled about our first house with land, we planted a veritable field of tomatoes (really!), plus rows of cucumbers, lettuce, a few variety of chilies, basil, parsley, cilantro and other stuff I can’t remember.  Well, that didn’t last long.  Wonderful to have that bounty in your backyard; the work it entailed, not so wonderful. So I limit myself these days, as I’ve grown more realistic about my farmer’s capabilities.  I’m a city girl, after all.  What do I know about weeding and fertilizers?
But I’m making my sauce now, one of my favorites.  A simple Neapolitan picturetomato sauce, enriched with onions and fragrant with a bouquet
of basil, made very quickly, while listening to Jovanotti, Fiorella Mannoia and Vasco Rossi whispering passionate and tender lyrics. Here’s my recipe, and, oh, have lots of Parmigiano on hand.

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