Sicilian pasta dish uses pesto made with pistachios and lime | Lifestyles


It has been a good year for the pesto. In the spring it went viral, thanks to enterprising TikTok users who started adding it to eggs instead of butter or oil. Fans applauded how easily he could flavor a range of preparations, whether scrambled or sunny.

It also benefited from David Kinch, chef-owner of the three Michelin star Manresa restaurant in Los Gatos, Calif., Who made an avocado version that offers a California version of what he calls “the best sauce in the world.” Italian food”.

Now that basil is taking over most gardens, there’s a new take on pesto to obsess over. It contains pistachios and, even more unusually, lime. But the result is a potent green sauce for home cooks to use to celebrate the rest of the summer.

The recipe is featured in the upcoming Sicilia cookbook: A Love Letter to the Food of Sicily by Ben Tish (Bloomsbury; Aug 10; $ 32). Tish is a chef whose London restaurants include the famous Norma, where the focus is on Sicilian cuisine. He once had cookbooks that covered southern Italy, including Moorish recipes, but this is his first deep dive into the Mediterranean island rich in history and diversity.

The book is devoted to various aspects of cooking, ranging from the strong Arab influence to the importance of frying. There are recipes for everything from non-Sicilian-sounding street lasagna bread (filled with cherry tomatoes, basil, and provolone) to lemon-smoked artichokes and the long, thin local sausages known as salsicca, with red wine and grapes.

While researching, Tish came across this unique pesto from the Bronte region, known for the quality of its pistachios. “Quite simply, they use pistachio instead of other nuts because there are so many of them,” Tish explains. “Everything contains pistachios. If you can find Bronte Nuts, use them; they will make the pesto greener.

Adding lime was Tish’s hack. “Normally it would be lemon,” he says. “The lime seemed right to me. The recipe is 70% authentic. Tish also chose to take the cheese out of the sauce and make it an optional garnish because he wanted to make it vegan.

Her version is one of the brightest, freshest versions of the sauce you’ll find. It is ideal for the summer. Pistachios add an underlying sweetness that you don’t usually find, but the real surprise is the tangy, summery lime kick.

Combined with garlic, it’s a refreshing touch that catches your eye. The flavors of the sauce come out best when the pasta is served at room temperature or refrigerated for a picnic or al fresco meal.

The following recipe is adapted from Sicilia, by Ben Tish.

3 cups loosely packed basil leaves

1 small bunch of parsley (about 3.5 oz), stems discarded

1 small garlic clove, peeled

1/2 cup roasted salted pistachios (about 2.5 oz), plus more for garnish

Finely grated zest of 1 lime

1 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to finish

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 lb dried spaccatella, casarecce or other form of short tubular paste

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

½ cup of fresh ricotta, and more to finish

In a blender, combine the basil leaves, parsley leaves, garlic, pistachios, lime zest and juice, and mix until coarsely chopped. With the machine running, pour in olive oil until smooth. Season well with S&P.

In a large pot, cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain, reserving a little water from the pasta cooking. In the saucepan, toss the pasta with a drizzle of olive oil, a little pasta cooking water and about half of the pesto. Stir in the Parmesan (if desired) and check the consistency; it must be naughty. If necessary, add more pesto.

Off the heat, stir in the ricotta (if desired). Pour into a bowl, garnish with a few pistachios and a little more ricotta and serve hot, at room temperature.

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