New! Productive, compact, and slow-bolting! This is the traditional Italian heirloom variety of basil. Long, glossy and cupped leaves with classic Genovese basil aroma. Very late to flower also! A very compact plant, with short spaces between leaves and branches, produces high yields of leaves and leaf tips. The robust Genovese flavour stands up to cooking. Perfect for pesto and adding to sauce. Robust 45 to 60 cm (18 to 24 in) plants!
Basil will help asparagus, beans, beets, cabbage, chili and bell peppers, eggplant, marigolds, oregano, potatoes and tomatoes.
Tomatoes benefit from basil companion planting. Growing tomatoes and basil near each other is said to make each crop taste better.
Herbs are easily grown indoors or outdoors. Sow every 14 days for a continuous supply of fresh leaves. Most herbs prefer a sunny and not to wet location. Try to locate plants where they will get 5 hours of direct sunlight each day. Herbs usually grow well in almost any soil but tend to thrive in light sandy soil that has been enriched with peat moss or leaf mold and a moderate amount of fertilizer. Cover seed slightly with soil. Keep soil moist until all seeds sprout. Seed germinates best at 18-23 C (68 – 75 F) usually in 7-14 days. Garden spacing 30 cm (12 in) apart.
Fettucine al Pesto Genovese (Serves 6)
- 4 cups packed basil
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 3 tbsp. finely grated pecorino
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Coarse sea salt, to taste
- 1 lb fresh linguine or fettuccine pasta
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanche basil leaves for 20 to 30 seconds or until vibrant green. Remove from boiling water and immediately immerse in an ice water bath to halt cooking process. Drain. Keep pot of water boiling on the stove.
In a food processor combine basil, oil, Parmesan, Pine Nuts, Pecorino, and Garlic. Pulse until smooth; season with salt and pepper.
Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water. Return pasta to pot. Toss with pesto until evenly coated, adding reserved cooking water as needed to thin sauce. Serve immediately.