How much is a sprig?

dedtiredJune 27, 2013

I'm looking at a recipe and it calls for two sprigs of basil. Is that two leaves? Two stems and all the leaves? What the heck is a sprig?

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I am no expert on sprigs, pinches, or dashes but I would probably put in two medium-sized leaves.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 6:21PM
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What are you making? I would consider a sprig a stem with a few leaves. And it would depend on what I was making as to the size of sprig I would use. Also some sprigs have large leaves and some sprigs have small leaves.

With ingredients like fresh herbs, you can pretty much season according to your own taste.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 6:26PM
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And here I interpreting sprig to mean a portion of a branch/plant. In other words more than a leaf.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 6:28PM
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A sprig does include part of the stem. I don't think it's particularly necessary to include the stem part, it's just a bit quicker. It's also easier to remove a sprig from a dish than the individual leaves. Personally I like to see the leaves.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 6:43PM
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It's this One Pan Pasta. Actually, now that I look at the picture, it looks like part of the stem with a few leaves attached. What do you think of the recipe?

Here is a link that might be useful: one pan pasta

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 6:49PM
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I think a sprig of an herb is the same as a snippet - a sprig is a type of snippet. Normally I use sprigs only with thyme, rosemary, and oregano and usually only when I want to remove the stems after cooking - this is especially helpful with thyme, as it eliminates the need to remove the leaves from the stems. I seldom use who sprigs of basil, and I usually make a chiffonade instead.

The recipe looks fine to me and proves that you can boil pasta in a small amount of water. The time does not add up, however, as it lists 15 minutes prep time, 20 minutes total time, and 9 minutes cooking time. When I add 15+ 9, I get 24 minutes instead of 20.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 7:03PM
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Pam, the recipe doesn't appeal to me. If you do decide to give it a try, I would not cook the basil in the water. I would add the basil just before serving.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 7:15PM
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Ann, I trust your judgement. Skipping this one, but at least I now know what a sprig is!

I'm always looking for recipes where you throw everything in a pot and end up with something fabulous. Unfortunately most good cooking doesn't work that way.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 7:20PM
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Lars, leave it to you to add up the time! Now I also know what a snippet is, should I run across that. Sounds like sprigs and snippets are more than a pinch, but less than a handful.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 7:23PM
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Pam, you can cook a quick sauce with the garlic, onions and tomatoes, sauted in the olive oil and then add the basil at the end. Bring the water to a boil and cook the pasta as the sauce simmers for 15 to 20 minutes. Still a very quick meal.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 7:29PM
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I agree it is strange to boil all of that. Like mentioned, just as easy to separate the fresh ingredients and cook the pasta in its own water. I could never boil my fresh basil. It wilts when added at the end from the warm dish on the way to the table. Maybe, if for a small serving, a very thin spaghetinni, broken in half, and given a head start all alone so it could get a stir or two, and then add the rest, cook down, and add basil at serving...

Some of the cheaper hard grocery store pastas do not need the big pot with colander, especially for just a 6oz serving, but that recipe is over a 1/2 lb. (.75)

In that pic it seems the 'sprig' is the top tender flower-like bunch pinched with a bit of tender stem and edible. It mentions to add a few leaves, taken from a lower stem, hard like a twig and not edible.
Thyme has a similar structure...a tender flower top and woody stem. My lawn is mostly wild thyme and what a pain to pick but at least not much is needed for good flavor. I would probably describe to 'pinch' off the tender tops and slide off the leaves on the woody stem in reverse of the way they grow...(in the list of ingredients i would say aprox 6-8 sprigs of thyme)

A 'sprig', to me anywho, listed as an ingredient, is the top 1/4 or 2/3rd's of a mature plant before bolting to seed/flower. With further instructions later. Often mixed sprigs of herbs tied together and dropped in a sauce or stock, or removed from their stem, or, as in cilantro, the 6-8 sprigs chopped with their edible tender stems...

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 6:54AM
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I have never made a dish where the pasta was cooked in with the sauce but I hope you try it and let us know how it turned out. This old dog isn't quite ready for a sous vide cooker but I'd be up for a new one-pot technique.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 7:41AM
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I'm noodling around some old posts and thought I'd bring this up.

I make this recipe regularly. This and pasta puttanesca are my easy go-to pasta recipes.

This does cook all in one pan, and I use the 28-oz can of tomatoes with juices. I use whole-wheat pasta. Red pepper flakes and garlic and black pepper. I use baby spinach when I don't have basil, which is often.

Give it a try, Dedtired.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 5:24PM
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My DIL made this last week and said it was delicious. Even her husband, my son, loved it.

It does sound somewhat absurd, but it does seem to work.


    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 10:28PM
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Well, for heaven's sake! I never did try the recipe but now that a couple of you have vouched for it, I will give it a go. Thanks for bringing this back up. Now to go check my basil sprig supply....

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 10:50PM
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