Pesto has always seemed perfect in September. The kind we eat in the U.S. is traditionally pesto Genovese, but stop the press! There are more kinds. Yes, more uncooked herb-based pasta condiments, from all over the fucking place.
Here is Pesto Pantesco. They make it on the island of Pantelleria, 70 kilometers due south of the Aegadian Islands just west of Trapani in Sicilia. No surprise they harvest the Rolls-Royce of capers in Pantelleria, and it is a groovy place for all good food and great water color.
Put this in your pipe and smoke it.
Ziti With Spicy Pesto Pantesco and Pecorino Siciliano
- 1/2 cup mint leaves, picked
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, picked
- 1 cup parsley, picked
- 1/4 cup fennel fronds
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons salt packed capers, rinsed and drained
- 4 medium over-ripe plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
- 1 pound ziti pasta, preferably Italian
- 1 cup freshly grated pecorino
Bring 6 quarts water to boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.
In a blender, place mint, basil, parsley, fennel fronds, garlic, capers, tomatoes, black pepper, red pepper and half the olive oil. Process in short bursts until roughly chopped. Turn blender on full and drizzle in remaining oil and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Remove pesto and place in a large serving bowl.
Cook pasta according to package instructions until just al dente and drain well. Toss drained pasta in serving bowl and toss like a salad to coat. Sprinkle with grated pecorino and serve.
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