Traditional pesto originates in Genoa. This is a variation typical of the southern region of Sicily, world renowned for its incredible pistachios.
It's a simple, delicious pasta, especially nice in the summer time. I like to make it for my outdoor summer supper club.
For the pesto:
- 1/3 cup shelled salted Pistachio
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- I bunch of fresh basil (around 40 leaves)
- 2 small pinches red pepper flakes
- 1 ripe Roma tomato peeled and seeded
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
For the pasta
- 1 lbs Fusilli
- 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
- Bring a large pot filled with water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, pour the pistachios and garlic into a food processor and grind finely, using the pulse setting so you don't overheat the blade.
- Then add a little olive oil until you create a "paste" consistency.
- Add the basil, tomatoes, hot pepper and the rest of the olive oil and keep pulsing until it’s well mixed. But don't over do it - we want it coarse, not overly creamy.
- Pour the pesto into a large mixing bowl.
- When boiling add the 2 tablespoons of coarse sea salt and pour in the pasta and cook until al dente.
- When the pasta is cooked, add a little of the pasta cooking water into the pesto sauce to make it less dense and easier to mix with the pasta. Transfer the pasta into the mixing bowl with the pesto and mix very well. You should end up with a nice "creamy" pesto texture.