Classic Easy Pesto alla Genovese Recipe and Instructions

posted in: Europe | 0
Short and sweet this week: a classic pesto recipe for the handmade pasta I gave you instructions for a few weeks ago.At the beginning of October, I had to bring in my plants from the balcony in anticipation of the cold weather, which, as of today, hasn’t arrived yet. Anyway, I harvested my basil:

And ended up with this much (a couple of cups):

And this:

I’d always wanted to try making pesto but was a little intimidated by it until I heard Lidia Bastianich on one of my favorite podcasts, America’s Test Kitchen. She explained that “pesto” comes from an Italian word meaning “mash”, “grind” or “beat”. Therefore, pesto isn’t cooked; the ingredients are mashed and beaten in a mortar and pestle or blender. Sounded easy.

FYI, there
are many types of pesto from different regions of Italy. For example,
traditional Sicilian pesto has tomatoes in it.

The version I describe here is pesto alla Genovese and is the most common one in the States. It’s the creamy green one you’re probably thinking of right now.

Additionally, there are
thousands of variations for each version, such as using walnuts instead
of pine nuts. Fortunately this gives me a lot of delicious homework to
do for this blog – I’ll keep you posted. read more

Homemade Fresh Pasta Tutorial

posted in: Europe | 0

I’ve given you two pasta sauce recipes of late: the meat and tomato ragù recipe I posted last week and the Sugo Finto (‘fake sauce’) before that. So maybe you’d like to know how to make the pasta itself, instead of buying that dried, hard stuff at the store. Note: there is nothing really wrong with the dried hard stuff at the store – just buy the quality kind.

The quick and dirty: you don’t need a pasta machine to make any kind of flat pasta noodles or flat filled pasta like ravioli. All you need is a lot of counter space and some time. And, in my case, enough energy left over to clean up all the flour in the kitchen. read more

Ragù Meat Sauce for Pasta Instructions from Santa Giulia in Tuscany, Italy

posted in: Europe, Italy, Tuscany | 0

How-to for delicious meat ragu straight from Tuscany, Italy. I visited the small but spectacular Santa Giulia winery and discovered some phenomenal recipes, chief of which was the meat ragu over homemade pasta!

Meatless ‘Sugo Finto’ (“Fake”) Pasta Sauce

posted in: Europe, Italy, Tuscany | 0

Sugo Finto - "Fake Sauce" - uses celery, carrots and onion in a red wine tomato sauce to produce a rich, hearty flavor for pasta without meat. I learned this recipe at a Tuscan cooking class at Fattoria Corsignano near Siena, Italy. You won't miss the meat, I promise!