Nestled between the slope of Mount Etna and the majestic Mediterranean Sea is where we enjoy the Sicilian Simplicity
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Pinoli e Pesto Genovese
A few months back, we set out to gather pine nuts with our friends in the hills of Sicily. The landscape was amazing as we searched for those very characteristic Mediterranean Pines (Stone Pine or Umbrella Pine). These raw pine nuts grown in the wild are adored throughout the world for their taste and texture. And here they are, literally at our fingertips!
We then passed through the town of Novara for a pick-nic lunch and enjoyed the shade and beauty of this sweet place between the Peloritani and the Nebrodi Mountains. In Novara, during the time of Carnival, the traditional “Gioco of the Maiorchino” takes place, where wheels of maiurchèa (a seasoned pecorino cheese) are rolled down along the town streets. People gather and follow this rolling masked ball through the many twists and turns of the town.
Now, being that I am in Genova, what more traditional recipe is there than the well known Pesto Genovese? I have made my fair share of pesto, but I've learned that there is nothing like the Pesto Genovese. The very best Genovese basil is said to be grown in Prà, where the basil is distinguished for its small, oval shaped, fine green leaves. Their perfume is - with respect to other types of basil - exceptionally delicate. Prà happens to be very close to where I am, so my friend Giovanna picked some up on her way over to Gabriella's house for a day of pesto making.
To truly make this pesto, one needs to use the marble mortar and wooden pestle with diligence and patience. The tender leaves of the basil should never get near a heat source and a mixer could give off heat causing the leaves to wilt. Unfortunately we did not have the proper utensils, but I'll work on that for the next time!
Pesto for 600 g of pasta
Basilico 50 grammi di foglioline di basilico. Olio extravergine di oliva - ½ bicchiere Needs to be from the origen of Liguria or a product of Italy Formaggio grattugiato - 6 spoons of Parmigiano Reggiano and 2 of Pecorino DOP
Garlic- 2 Pinoli - 1 spoon Sale grosso - few grains
Grind the pine nuts with the garlic, then add the basil. Add a touch of salt and the ground cheeses. Taste for salt and enjoy!
I have been carried away to a world that stops to taste the sweetness of the land, and admire all the treasures that their rich black soil provides. Now my journey begins as we enjoy the simple pleasures of the life! We came from different worlds, spoke different languages, but that didn’t stop us. We have our home in Sicily, and many adventures await us. Sicilia is our home!
Sailing across the Gulf of Mexico, I had the pleasure of meeting the most amazing man. Little did I know that he would eventually become the love of my life and would change my world. We were both working aboard a cruise line at the time. He, an Italian Engineer, and I, the featured headlining Vocalist, met at a crew party and the rest is history. Our beginning... Wedding Pictures...
Towns around Mt. Etna
Take a trip around Mt.Etna and visit all the small towns along the way here. Relax and enjoy the scenery on the Ferrovia Circumetnea Train that travels around Mt. Etna.