I'm new to cooking and I was planning to make a recipe I saw on TV with pasta. One ingredient is basil. The chef on the show advised always to use fresh herbs; he used a kind of vasiliko with large leaves I think it's called holy basil.

I tried to find one those species but they only grow in spring time. During winter we have a different kind with smaller leaves, it's the second from left to right in the picture.


Does it make any difference? Should I use this one or skip it and use dry basil?

Penne with prosciutto and mozzarella:

 300 gr. pence
 10 cherry tomatoes
 100 gr. fresh mozzarella
 1 onion
 basil leaves
 10 slices prosciutto
 olive oil
 Salt and pepper
  • The different herbs labelled basil do have different flavors. Can you tell us more about your recipe and what cuisine it is from?
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 21:05
  • 2
    Holy basil (tulsi) would be very odd to use in that recipe. It's one of the least "basily" basils. For Italian dishes, something like Genovese basil would be a lot more common.
    – SourDoh
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 21:16
  • You can watch the recipe youtube.com/watch?v=xvTg-429KTo. It's the first, at the second minute. It's in Greek. Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 21:16
  • The Platyfylos one looks closest to what I have seen in Italian supermarkets. But I haven't visited many of them, so maybe it is a regional observation only.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 15:47

1 Answer 1


For this type of Italian recipe, you want a Mediteranian style basil, often called simply "basil" or "sweet basil".

Ones called holy basil or thai basil have a much more aggressive and extremely perfumed flavor which would be jarring in this dish.

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  • Should I always skip dry herbs? Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 21:43
  • 1
    That is a complicated question. In general, the heartier woodier herbs like oregano do well dried; the delicate herbs like bail or taragon really should e used fresh. On the other hand, if dry is all you have, it can be better than none.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 21:43
  • In the picture I've add, yours is in the middle. The one I found it's on the left. You can see the difference on the size. Does it makes any difference in taste or am I too peculiar? Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 22:16
  • Sorry, I cannot read greek and the picture is a little too small for my eyes. I imagine any one in your market should be able to guide you to regular basil.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 23:27

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