Aphrodisiac Recipe for Love : Passionata Pesto

The beauty of fresh bouquets of basil always attracts me when I'm produce shopping at my local farmers market. The wide green leaves not only look lovely, they smell wonderful as well.

There are more than 50 varieties of basil, and for many centuries it has been known as an aphrodisiac. The plant is native to India and has been grown in the Asian continent for over 5,000 years. Basil inspires desire and helps with fertility issues. It gives a sense of wellness and calm, relieving anxiety. In Roman times, the fragrant scent of basil also was thought to inspire men to passionate heights when their lover's breasts were dusted with dried and  powdered basil. No insignificant herb, basil has been popular for stirring up passion in pots and pans, especially in Italy, Thailand, and Vietnam. South Asian cuisines use the Thai Basil variety for many different dishes. Thai Basil, Lemon Basil, and Holy Basil are the main types of basil used all over Asia. Italians use Sweet Basil for their pesto sauces and other recipes.

Chinese cooks like to use basil in their soups. Thai basil is a fragrant addition to the Vietnamese soup, phở. In Taiwan, fresh basil leaves are added to soups and deep fried with their fried chicken recipes.

Of course, pesto is what I love to use basil for the most. It is fun to create different kinds of pesto, such as arugula pesto, but the traditional basil pesto is my favorite.

Here I've used the basic recipe but added pistachios in with the pine nuts as well as a hint of black truffles. Even though basil is a powerful aphrodisiac on its very own, pine nuts add another seductive dimension to your pesto. Pine Nuts, or Pignolias, are zinc-rich and tasty little things that flavor pesto with a creamy and luxurious flavor. And pine nuts are, you guessed it, an aphrodisiac known to bring couples together and fire up their mating instincts as well as their matrimonial dreams. Seriously. Pine nuts are magical things that make wedding bell wishes come true. To add this into an already sensuous recipe with gloriously green basil leaves, well. Not only will your pesto look deliciously green from the basil, but its texture will be voluptuous with this powerful little nut from the pine tree, known as the pignolia. And if you aren't married yet and wish to make your lover hear wedding bells... make passionate pesto. If you are married and want to bring back the passionata, make a little mangia mangia and you'll see. It works.

Passionata Pesto

I made this pesto the other night before Darling came home for dinner. Penne was all this pesto needed to transport his senses to the euphoric states of passionate love. I had grand designs to satisfy his hunger for food and l'amour. Just after I blended up this pesto recipe, he came into the kitchen and began nibbling the back of my neck, kissing here and there. From that point on, what amorous mischief evolved while the penne was boiling is my secret and most passionate ingredient. Wasn't it mentioned somewhere that the fragrance of basil inspires the passion of men? 

  • olive oil, 2 generous cups
  • bouquet of basil, plucked leaves
  • lemon juice, 1/2 cup freshly squeezed
  • parmesan, 1/2 cup and some
  • garlic, 3 cloves, blanched to remove bitterness
  • pine nuts, 1/2 cup and some
  • pistachios, 1/4 cup
  • sea salt, to taste
  • Urbani Truffle Thrills "Pesto & Truffles" 1 tablespoon
Pour a generous amount of olive oil into your blender. Blanche the garlic quickly in boiling water for about two minutes. Add the garlic, lemon juice, basil leaves, parmesan, pine nuts, pistachios, and your tiny amount of (optional) black truffle (not too much) into the blender and combine until the pesto is smooth and green. Just a hint of truffle. Don't go wild. It's potent stuff. Yes, if you really want to seal the deal and go extreme with aphrodisiac passion, add the black truffles. I found this adorable little tin full of real black truffle, not the cloying truffle oil stuff. Urbani is the brand name of the magical truffle products. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on real fresh truffles, shave some into this passionately! Keep adding parmesan, basil leaves, and pine nuts until you have created a nice consistency, either rough or smooth, to your liking. Sea salt and pepper to taste.

You can also slather it on foccacia, add some ricotta and basil leaves chiffonade, and it's simply decadent. Use pesto in the morning with a poached egg and drizzle of balsamic crème.

Sandwiches and wraps are also good ways to eat this pesto with passion. But I just love it on focaccia with an egg. Serve it up sexy with ratatouille or a soup and you have yourself a tantalizing lunch for two, passionata style.