Sicilian pistachio & mint pesto
This uncommon type of Italian pesto is of Sicilian origin, where the great weather makes the pistachios grow a tiny bit longer and thinner making them even tastier than pistachios from other regions. The combination of sweet pistachios together with the strong mint and Parmesan creates a well-balanced taste that is fresh, but not too heavy. This pesto sauce marries perfectly with trofie or casarecce and should be enjoyed with a large glass of Sicilian Malvasia white wine. Salute!
Ingregients for 4 people:
- 150g of sicilian pistachios (shelled)
- 50g of mint
- 80g of parmesan
- 250-300ml of water
- 400g of durum wheat casarecce (dried pasta)
- 50ml of extra virgin olive oil
- A handful of pistachios with grated parmesan and finely chopped mint to decorate the finished dishes
- Start by rinsing the mint leaves and taking the leaves off the stems
- Then blend the water, mint leaves and pistachios together briefly
- Finally add the parmesan with a splash of extra virgin olive oil and continue blending until you have the perfect texture. Don’t blend it for too long making sure the pesto is not totally liquid, nor solid – somewhere in the middle is perfect texture.
For the pasta:
- When the pesto is ready, boil the pasta in well salted water until they are al dente, then drain.
- Put the pasta in a mixing bowl together with the pesto (adding a tablespoon of boiled pasta water into the mixing bowl for an enhanced taste) and mix thoroughly.
- Decorate each dish with a touch of finely grated parmesan, some crushed pistachios and a tablespoon of finely chopped mint.
Note: If you have any leftover pesto you can use it to make crostini