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Archive for the ‘Grillo’ Category

This is a classic Sicilian dish. Casarecce is the pasta shown in the picture but you can use penne if you can’t find it. You can roast the pistachio’s in advance but don’t chop them until you are ready to make the pesto as they will go rancid very quickly once their oils are released.

Casarecce con pesto di pistacchio – to serve 4

  • 70g shelled pistachios
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 40g fresh basil
  • 200ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 30g pecorino cheese, grated, plus a bit extra to serve
  • 400g casarecce (or penne)

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Spread the pistachios out on a baking tray in a single layer and roast for about 8 minutes. Check them near the end to ensure they don’t burn.

Chop the pistachios. Take ¾ of the pistachios and the garlic and pound to a paste with a pestle and mortar. Pound the basil into the paste, then gradually add the olive oil.  Add the remaining pistachios and the pecorino and pound just briefly to make sure you keep some pieces of pistachio. Season.

Cook the pasta in lots of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and put the pasta back in the pan, reserve a little of the cooking water. Toss the pasta with the pesto and add a bit of the cooking water to loosen if necessary. Grate over some more pecorino to serve.

Drink with: We tried a Vermentino from Colli di Luni DOC (Hills of the Moon) in the hills of Liguria in Italy which worked very well and is a classic partner for Pesto dishes. To be even more authentic to the dish we would suggest something Sicilian made from Grillo; you need minerality, nuttiness, fresh acidity and fruitiness wrapped in a medium bodied wine.

(Original recipe from Georgio Locatelli’s Made in Sicily, Fourth Estate, 2011.)

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