Reprinted in June edition of
Can Basil Make You Bad?

by Chef Carlo J. Morelli

What's in this stuff, Basil?

BASIL is a flowering herb.

During the Middle Ages, basil was highly thought of to possess mystical valences It is also said to have grown out of an unfulfilled love.

As the tale goes, a young and beautiful girl dies, leaving behind her a desperate lover who attended her grave site each and every day, shedding many a tear. After a while, delicate flowers began to grow on the grave. The boy's ever flowing tears would water the flowers until it blossomed, and a wonderful, magical perfume emerged from it.

This delicate and sensual aroma has made the Basil plant a dominant source of stimulation and of sexuality to this day.

Legend has it, wives who wished to "cure" their husband of infidelity would perform a ritual in which they would powder their upper parts with Basil?

There are very few herbs so clearly associated with sex! In the true Mediterranean tradition, Basil was and is an important ingredient in the erotic rituals. Arabian writers of centuries past mentioned it as a highly important aphrodisiac herb, as it enhances erotic passion, especially in the case of women. Its beneficial effects on women notwithstanding, the effects are not so easily detectable in the case of men, . . . HUH? Let me get this straight, she's hot but the guy's not? Not a chance . . . developing.

If Basil has these powers, what would happen if we mixed it with other highly touted elixirs . . . like tomatoes. How about Passionate Pasta with Sensual Seafood. The taste and texture of tender shrimp, tangled in ribbons of fresh Basil, swimming in a thick red sauce, could seduce any heavy breathing adult.

Passionate Pasta with Sensual Seafood

3 oz. butter
4 tbls. pure olive oil (virgin anything is vastly overrated)
1 tbls. dry parsley
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2-3 ea. Med. cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 /2 lb. small shrimp, cleaned and shelled
1 tbls. dry oregano
4 oz. fresh basil, tightly rolled and sliced into thin ribbons
8 oz. Angel hair pasta
Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

1) Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan.
2) Add the parsley, garlic powder, and simmer.
3) Add the sliced garlic, and sauté until soft, just a minute or two.
4) Prepare the pasta according to the package directions
5) Carefully add shrimp, and slowly sauté another 3 minutes (do not overcook)
6) Sprinkle dry oregano over shrimp and stirring slowly.
7) Drain and put the pasta back into the pot.
8) Add the shrimp mixture, tossing gently to coat and incorporate.

Put the pasta into a pre-warmed serving bowl, sprinkle with cheese, and serve hot.


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