Recipe : Mediterranean Pesto Fusilli

Mediterranean Pesto Fusilli close up

Mediterranean Pesto Fusilli close up

As part of World Week in Italian Cusine,  the Italian Consulate General, Italian Institute of Culture in Edinburgh and the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the UK – in collaboration with Alma and Ambasciatori del Gusto – have organised events themed around how the Mediterranean diet can boost the body’s immune system. We took part in a cook along with Chef Bonetta dell’Oglio online to make a dish.

Fabio Monaco, Consul General of Italy to Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: “While the Covid-19 restrictions have upset our usual planning for the World Week of Italian Cuisine, we wanted to ensure that people still had the chance to enjoy and celebrate the amazing food of Italy.

“We think we have brought some clever thinking to overcome the challenges to bring a taste and education of Italy once more – without anyone having to leave their homes.

“While travel to Italy remains complicated for now, we hope these events will continue to inspire people to learn more of our culture and those of our wide range of different territories – and better still to plan a visit when we can do so easily.”

Here is the recipe for the dish.

Mediterranean Pesto Fusilli close up
Ingredients

320 gr Fusilli pasta
1 orange – keep half to squeeze and strain
1 garlic clove (small)
30 gr peeled almonds
30 gr pistachio kernels shelled
50 gr sun-dried tomatoes
30 gr salted capers
50 ml extra virgin olive oil
40 gr grated parmesan
A sprig of thyme and rosemary
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Salt and pepper

Method

To prepare the pesto:
First, desalt the capers: leave them to rest in a large cup of warm water for at least one hour.
Meanwhile, blanch the sun-dried tomatoes (unless they are in oil): put the sun-dried tomatoes in a pan with boiling water, leave them for about 2 minutes then let them cool in the water. Once cooked, take them out of the water when lukewarm and chop up.
If you have sun-dried tomatoes in oil just make sure to drain them well, then dry them with kitchen paper and finely chop up.
Take the almonds, the pistachio kernels, the garlic clove and the herbs and chop them up too.
(You could also use a blender but you will not get the same effect. If you use a blender, make sure you do not chop too finely as you would get a cream rather than your sauce. Be aware too that the herbs might not be chopped properly if you use the blender)
Place all finely chopped ingredients in a small pan, add the oil and heat a little without cooking it. Grate the rind of half the orange and add it to the pan with the juice once you have taken the mixture off the heat; season with salt and pepper and add the capers.

To prepare the pasta:
Heat up no less than three litres of water in a pan and bring to the boil: when it is boiling add a spoonful of salt and the fusilli and gently mix. Cook as instructed on the packet.

To prepare the final dish:
Once the pasta has cooked, drain it and keep aside one cupful of the cooking water.
Put the fusilli in a serving dish, add the Mediterranean pesto and a few spoonfuls of the boiling water used for the pasta, plus half of the grated parmesan. Stir well.
Tidy up the edges of the serving dish, scatter the remaining parmesan, add a final touch of extra virgin olive oil and serve warm.

 

Mediterranean Pesto Fusilli close up

Mediterranean Pesto Fusilli close up

Mediterranean Pesto Fusilli

Ingredients
  

  • 320 gr Fusilli pasta
  • 1 orange – keep half to squeeze and strain
  • 1 garlic clove small
  • 30 gr peeled almonds
  • 30 gr pistachio kernels shelled
  • 50 gr sun-dried tomatoes
  • 30 gr salted capers
  • 50 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 40 gr grated parmesan
  • A sprig of thyme and rosemary
  • Extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • To prepare the pesto:
  • First desalt the capers: leave them to rest in a large cup of warm water for at least one hour.
  • Meanwhile, blanch the sun-dried tomatoes (unless they are in oil): put the sun-dried tomatoes in a pan with boiling water, leave them for about 2 minutes then let them cool in the water. Once cooked, take them out of the water when lukewarm and chop up.
  • If you have sun-dried tomatoes in oil just make sure to drain them well, then dry them with kitchen paper and finely chop up.
  • Take the almonds, the pistachio kernels, the garlic clove and the herbs and chop them up too.
  • (You could also use a blender but you will not get the same effect. If you use a blender, make sure you do not chop too finely as you would get a cream rather than your sauce. Be aware too that the herbs might not be chopped properly if you use the blender)
  • Place all finely chopped ingredients in a small pan, add the oil and heat a little without cooking it. Grate the rind of half the orange and add it to the pan with the juice once you have taken the mixture off the heat; season with salt and pepper and add the capers.
  • To prepare the pasta:
  • Heat up no less than three litres of water in a pan and bring to the boil: when it is boiling add a spoonful of salt and the fusilli and gently mix. Cook as instructed on the packet.
  • To prepare the final dish:
  • Once the pasta has cooked, drain it and keep aside one cupful of the cooking water.
  • Put the fusilli in a serving dish, add the Mediterranean pesto and a few spoonfuls of the boiling water used for the pasta, plus half of the grated parmesan. Stir well.
  • Tidy up the edges of the serving dish, scatter the remaining parmesan, add a final touch of extra virgin olive oil and serve warm.

 

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Mediterranean Pesto Fusilli close up

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Mrs Foodie aka Emma loves to snuggle with Fred and Cleo, sleep and read.

Can be found with gin or a pint in hand.

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