Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Pennette with Spicy Sicilian Pesto

[Photograph: Quentin Bacon]

This Pennette with Sicilian Pesto from Mario Batali's latest, Molto Batali takes that Ligurian classic on a trip to the south of Italy by adding brightness and heat from unique-to-Sicily ingredients. Chiles (raw and dried), mint, almonds and fennel seeds are added to the basic basil-garlic-olive oil mix giving the sauce not only gorgeous hints of subtle spice from but also a delicate sweetness from the ground almonds and fennel.

And since this is a Sicilian pesto, it's finished with Pecorino Siciliano, a crumblier sheeps' milk cheese that has just enough bite to stand up to this heartier pesto.

Batali, never one to skimp on the pasta advice recommends covering your leftover pesto with a layer of olive oil. The oil solidifies in the fridge or freezer making sure that your pesto retains that wonderfully vibrant green hue.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Molto Batali to give away this week.

Adapted from Molto Batali by Mario Batali. Copyright © 2011. Published by Ecco. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved

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