$2.39 ALDI find I use almost every day.

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When I was growing up, I often invited myself to Silvestri's for dinner. Mr. and Mrs. Silvestri had emigrated from Italy, and I had befriended their eldest daughter, Anna. I fell in love with Mrs. Silvestri's cooking. Her pasta was way better than my mom's spaghetti — no offense, Mom — and I knew if I was playing with Anna right before dinner, I'd be invited to stay. It made the best pasta sauce I've ever tasted.

Inspired by Mrs. Silvestri, I went to culinary school to learn how to make pasta from scratch. The biggest compliment about my cooking came from Mrs. Silvestri at my parents' birthday party, which I catered to. To this day, I cook Italian dishes several times a week.

That's why I love Simply Nature Organic Stir-In Basil Paste ($2.39) from ALDI. It effortlessly adds Italian flavor to my dishes all year round.

Why I Love Tulsi Paste Only in Nature's Organic Stir

I grow my own basil in the summer, but in the colder months I have to buy fresh basil. Most of the time when I buy fresh basil at least half of it goes bad before I use it, even though I cook a lot of Italian food.

I used to buy frozen basil cubes at Trader Joe's, but the store discontinued them. That's why I was delighted to discover ALDI's Simply Nature Organic Stir-In Basil Paste. The tube contains about three ounces of basil paste. It's just basil, olive oil, sea salt and a little lemon juice. It's perfect for stirring into pasta sauces and so, so much more.

If you want to spice up anything with a pop of fresh-tasting basil, this is your go-to. I usually go through a tube every two weeks. After opening, refrigerate for up to one month. ALDI sells other flavors, including garlic and ginger, and I've also seen specialty flavors like lemongrass once or twice a year.

Just Recipes / Laurel Randolph


How I Use Basil Paste in Only Natural Organic Stir

I add a teaspoon (or two or three) to almost every tomato sauce, be it marinara, bolognaise, amtriciana, pizza sauce… even when I make alfredo or cheese sauce. I have also used it to enhance the flavor of tomato sauce.

I often stir in a teaspoon when I make scrambled eggs, and I also spread it on garlic bread. Mixing in mayo is also great if you're making a sandwich or pasta salad.

To make meatballs taste better, add two teaspoons to your meatball mixture, and you can mix it with garlic and rub it on roasts. I've mixed it into homemade pizza dough, and I think it would taste great in homemade focaccia bread.

In fact, you can add this paste to anything savory and it will taste delicious. It adds a warm, herbal flavor to many of my dishes, no matter the time of year.

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