Saturday, September 23, 2023

Lemon Custard Tart

Are you a lemon lover? This lemon custard tart might be right up your alley. It's got plenty of lemon flavor all right, but it's not as sharp (or as difficult to make) as a recipe made with lemon curd. The custard tempers the tartness of the lemon. It uses milk in the recipe, not cream, so if you eliminated the whipped cream topping (I know, it's a silly suggestion, but you could decorate with berries on top instead), you might even call it nutritious. I used Lactaid since that's what I had, but you could use whole, part-skim, or fully skim milk.
The recipe for the lemon custard is from Everyday Pie, but the crust is from Preppy Kitchen. They were meant for each other.
I served it to my Italian chit chat group recently, and they all loved it. 
I hope you do too.

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printable recipe here


(recipe adapted from

This made more than would fit in my 9" tart pan. Next time I would use aa 10-10 1/2" tart pan and make 1 1/2 times the crust recipe. For a pie pan, it would be fine as written below.

1 tart/pie crust 

5 eggs, divided

¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar

2 tablespoons (15 grams) cornstarch

⅛ teaspoon salt 

⅓ cup (70 grams) lemon juice

1 Tablespoon Limoncello (optional if you don't have it)

2 cups (260 grams) milk

1 teaspoon lemon zest


(recipe from

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour (150g)

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup sugar (50 gr)

2 tbsp. cream (10 ml)

1 egg yolk

  • ¼ tsp salt
1 Cup whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
zest of one lemon


Whisk the egg yolk and cream together in a small bowl and set aside.
Measure the flour into a large bowl then add the salt, and sugar. Whisk together then add the cubed butter. Work the butter in with a pastry cutter or your clean hands.
Once you have a crumbly mixture with roughly pea-sized pieces of butter throughout you can drizzle in the yolk cream mixture and mix together with a fork or knife. Transfer The dough onto a piece of plastic, press and fold together, then shape into a disk, wrap and chill for about an hour.
Roll the dough into a circle then transfer to a 9 or 10 inch tart pan (one with a removable base is preferable). Press into the pan then dock the bottom and trim the edge. Freeze for about 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 375F then blind bake the crust for about 20 minutes (I use a piece of aluminum foil into which I put some dry beans and rice. I have used the same ones for more than 20 years).
Bake until a light golden color, remove from the oven and then reduce the oven temperature to 325F. 
Whisk together the granulated sugar, cornstarch and salt in a bowl. Add in the remaining 4 eggs, the leftover egg yolk, and the lemon juice, and whisk together. 
Heat the milk in a medium pot over medium heat until small bubbles form along the edges, about 120ºF.
Next, temper the egg mixture: Slowly pour in 1 cup of the warmed milk to the eggs, while gently whisking. Then, pour the whole egg mixture slowly back into the pot of milk while gently whisking. Continue to cook the mixture for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture has just barely thickened and reached 170-180ºF. To double-check the custard has formed, take a wooden spoon and coat it with the milk. Draw a horizontal line on the back of the spoon with your finger. If the line “holds” then your custard is set. If the line collapses right away, the custard needs another minute or so. However do not bring the mixture to a boil, this will overcook the custard.
Strain the mixture to catch any bits of cooked eggs. Add in the limoncello and the zest and then slowly pour the filling into the baked crust.
Place the tart onto your oven’s middle rack and bake it for 30-40 minutes, or until the custard has puffed up and set nearly throughout, but still slightly wobbly in the middle. 
Remove the tart from the oven, and place it on a rack to cool.
Once the tart has come to room temperature, move the pie to the refrigerator to finish setting up, at least 4 hours.
Whip the cream and confectioner's sugar, then decorate with a piping bag, or just use a spoon to place dollops on the tart. Use a lemon zester to add more decoration over the whipped cream. Serve chilled.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Sungold Tomato Pasta

This has been an exceptionally prolific summer for our tomato crop, including these sweet Sungolds, that never seem to quit. Before cleaning up the garden for the season, I harvested the remaining ripe Sungolds and was looking for a way to use them, other than eating out of hand.
I got some ideas from readers on my Instagram page, but in the end settled on a pasta dish that was inspired by the website Wishbone Kitchen. You'll need to saute the onions and garlic slowly, so they become golden brown.
Then add the tomatoes, a couple of basil stems (yes, save the leaves for later) plus some seasonings.
Smash the tomatoes and let everything simmer for 20 minutes.
Puree the mixture in a blender, then strain through a sieve to remove the skins (unless you don't mind them, but I wanted a smooth puree.)
I added the butter and tasted at this point, and since the tomatoes weren't as sweet as they had been earlier in the summer,  I squirted in a tablespoon of honey.
Mix with your choice of pasta and parmesan cheese and garnish with basil leaves.

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Sungold Tomato Pasta
3 cups Sungold tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup sliced onion
2 cloves garlic
dash of red pepper flakes
2 stalks of basil (save leaves for decoration)
1 tablespoon honey, optional
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
pasta water, if needed
1/2 lb. pasta
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

In a saucepan, add the olive oil and the sliced onions. 
Sautè for about 1/2 hour on low heat until they turn golden. 
Add the garlic and sautè for another 10 minutes. 
Then add the tomatoes and seasonings, and using a potato masher, smash the tomatoes when they soften. Cook for about 20 minutes, then remove to a blender and whir until smooth. 
The skins are not likely to be blended, so if you want a totally smooth sauce, press the mixture through a sieve.
Remove the sieve and add the butter to the sauce. 
Add the honey, optional
Cook the pasta, retaining some of the pasta water. 
Add the pasta to the sauce in the pan, swirling to coat the pasta and adding some of the pasta water if the mixture needs to be thinned.
Add the parmesan cheese and mix thoroughly 
Garnish with basil leaves before serving.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Plum Cobbler

While many of you are enjoying summer's bounty of peaches, watermelon and cantaloupe, don't forget about end-of-summer plums. They are so delicious eaten out of hand, cooked down with a little sugar and lemon to enjoy as a topping to yogurt or ice cream, or used in a cobbler -- an easy-to-make dessert that everyone loves. Top it with some ice cream while it's still warm from the oven for an extra special treat.
You can use any kind of plums for these -- from the easy-to-find Santa Rosas to the Italian plum variety. Cut them into pieces -- quarters if they're large plums, or in thirds if they're small.

This recipe makes a cobbler that fits in a 9" pie plate, but the second time I made it, I divided it between two 6 1/2" shallow casseroles -- one to give to my 98-year-old neighbor celebrating his birthday, and one to keep for myself.
After you've mixed the plums with sugar, cinnamon and flour, place them in the container (or two if you're making two smaller ones as I did).
Then make the topping and spoon some of it on top. Place the containers into a parchment or aluminum foil-lined pan, in order to catch any drippings. Otherwise, the plum mixture may bubble over and you'll end up with burnt bits on the floor of your oven.

If you're making two smaller ones, they'll need about 5 to 10 minutes less in the oven than one larger pan.
This is an even larger pan than the original recipe calls for and I made 1 1/2 times the recipe to serve a group of about six people. We had plenty left over, and I think I could have gotten by with the original quantities. If you have leftover more than two or three days, the biscuit-like topping will start to soften.
If it's just for the two of you, you could cut the recipe in half and bake it in a smaller pan. This small casserole was really enough to serve four people.
Especially when topped with vanilla ice cream. And come on -- why wouldn't you?

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Plum Cobbler
recipe adapted from Vitalinka blog

4 cups plums (regular or Italian prune plums
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For The Topping:
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold butter
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt
2/3 cup milk


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut plums in quarters (if large) or thirds, and remove the stone.
In a large bowl, combine the pitted plums, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon.
Set aside.
In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, oats, sugar, salt and cinnamon.
Add the cold, cubed butter, using your hands or a pastry blender to mix with the flour mixture until it's crumbly.
Add the milk and stir just till moistened.
If making just one cobbler, add the plum and sugar mixture to the bottom of a deep 9-inch pie plate or a 2 quart baking dish.
I made two, using two 5-inch circular oven safe casseroles.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes if using the smaller casseroles, or 40-45 minutes if using the larger container, or until golden on top.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Plum Focaccia

Plums and thyme make a delicious addition to focaccia, and while plums are in season, now is the time to try this recipe. The focaccia dough is easy to mix by hand with a wooden spoon, until you get a shaggy dough. Then it sits in the fridge overnight, or if you're in a hurry, on the counter. After it's risen, dump it into a rimmed cookie sheet and let the blob sit. If you try to stretch it out, it will fight you. But if you wait 15 minutes to a half hour, it will be a different story. Let it rise a second time in the pan, then using hands dipped in olive oil, make dimples all across the dough.

Spread with the plums, olive oil, salt and fresh thyme.

Bake in the oven till golden brown.

Don't forget to drizzle with honey.

The overnight rise contributes to a great flavor and texture.
This is the perfect accompaniment to drinks all by itself, but split in half, makes a terrific foil for some salami and cheese -- sweet and soft plums, salty salami and cheese, crunchy focaccia-- utterly delicious.

Plum Focaccia

Printable recipe here


  • 1 ¼-oz. envelope active dry yeast (about 2¼ tsp.)
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 5 cups (625 g) all-purpose flour
  • 5 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1 Tbsp. Morton kosher salt
  • 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for hands
  • 6-8 plums (I used Italian prune plums, but regular plums work fine too.)
  • olive oil to grease the pan
  • Flaky sea salt
  • fresh thyme
  • honey to drizzle
  1. Whisk one ¼-oz. envelope active dry yeast (about 2¼ tsp.), 2 tsp. honey, and 2½ cups lukewarm water in a medium bowl and let sit 5 minutes (it should foam or at least get creamy; if it doesn’t your yeast is dead and you should start again—check the expiration date!).
  2. Start adding the flour and salt, but add only four cups flour at first and mix. Add more flour if needed. What you want is a shaggy dough with no dry streaks of flour.
  3. Pour 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil into a big bowl that will fit in your refrigerator.
  4. Transfer dough to bowl and turn to coat in oil.
  5. Cover with a silicone lid or plastic wrap and chill until dough is doubled in size (it should look very bubbly and alive), at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.
  6. If you’re in a rush, you can also let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 3–4 hours.
  7. After the dough has risen double in size, use a silicone spatula, gather up edges of dough farthest from you and lift up and over into center of bowl.
  8. Give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat process.
  9. You want to deflate dough while you form it into a rough ball.
  10. Generously oil a 13×9″ baking pan, for thicker focaccia that’s perfect for sandwiches, or an 18×13″ rimmed baking sheet, for focaccia that’s thinner, crispier, and great for snacking.
  11. Dump the dough to the center of the prepared pan.
  12. If you try to stretch it out right away to the corners of the pan, it will be difficult.
  13. Wait fifteen minutes to a half hour, then stretch out the dough. It will be much easier.
  14. Pour any oil left from the bowl onto the dough.
  15. Let rise a second time, uncovered in the baking sheet, in a dry, warm spot (like near a radiator or on top of the fridge or a preheating oven) until doubled in size, at least 1½ hours and up to 4 hours.
  16. Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 450°.
  17. To see if the dough is ready, poke it with your finger. It should spring back slowly, leaving a small visible indentation.
  18. If it springs back quickly, the dough isn’t ready. (If at this point the dough is ready to bake but you aren’t, you can chill it up to 1 hour.)
  19. Lightly oil your hands. If using a rimmed baking sheet, gently stretch out dough to fill.
  20. Dimple focaccia all over with your fingers, creating very deep depressions in the dough (reach your fingers all the way to the bottom of the pan).
  21. Place cut plums on the focaccia, pushing them down into the dough,
  22. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt and thyme.
  23. Bake focaccia until puffed and golden brown all over, 20–30 minutes.
  24. Drizzle with more olive oil and additional salt if needed.
  25. Focaccia is best eaten the day it’s made, but keeps well in the freezer.
  26. Slice it into pieces, store it in a freezer-safe container, then reheat it on a baking sheet in a 300° F oven.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Caprese Salad Pasta

If you're like me, and can't get enough of garden fresh tomatoes, this recipe is for you. It's tastes like summer on a plate -- like a caprese salad, but with pasta. This is a recipe for those hot days when you don't feel like eating anything with a heavy sauce, but still want your pasta. The only cooking involved is in boiling the pasta. The sauce is made from raw tomatoes that are marinated with salt, pepper, garlic, basil  and olive oil. While the tomatoes are marinating, you can start boiling the pasta. Make sure you have the mozzarella cubed and ready to go when the pasta is boiling.

Place the hot, drained pasta in the bowl with the tomato mixture and add the mozzarella. Toss everything together and the mozzarella will start to soften and slightly melt. It doesn't get much easier than this -- or tastier. Don't try this with supermarket tomatoes. You must use tomatoes perfectly ripe from the garden. I'm not sure why, but our tomatoes from the garden this year have been abundant, more flavorful and juicier than ever -- just perfect for this dish of caprese salad pasta.
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Caprese Salad Pasta

2 cups garden fresh tomatoes, cut into small pieces (I removed the seeds from some of the tomatoes)
1/2 cup olive oil
ample salt, pepper to taste
1 small clove garlic, minced
a good amount of basil, minced
1 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed and at room temperature
1/2 lb. ziti or other pasta
parmesan cheese, optional

Cut the tomatoes into small pieces and place them in a bowl to marinate for at least 15 minutes with the olive oil, salt, pepper and basil.
Boil the pasta and drain, then add to the bowl with the tomatoes and quickly add the mozzarella cheese, mixing everything well. 
Serve immediately. 
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese (optional).

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Gratinéed Peppers, And a Blogiversary Giveawaay

In this summer of bounteous corn, peaches and tomatoes here in the Garden State (that would be New Jersey, of course), let's not forget about peppers. Red peppers are starting to come in strong, and if you grow peppers, you know that if you leave them on the plant longer, they'll turn from green to red -- that's when they're sweetest and so delicious to eat in so many ways. One of my favorites is this gratinéed recipe. Just take out the core and inner white ribs, then cut the peppers in thirds -- quarter them if they're large. 
Mix the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, olive oil and seasonings. Cook the peppers without the gratinéed mixture first for half an hour, then remove from the oven and fill with the bread crumb mixture.
Place the pan back in the oven for another 15 minutes, or until the crumbs start to turn golden. 
These are delicious as a side dish, or even as a first course. 
Now for the giveaway and the reason -- I'm celebrating 15 years of blogging!! Woohoo! It's hard to believe I've been at this so long, but initially I started it as a way to archive family recipes. But it's become a whole lot more through the years. Yes, most of the recipes are Italian-influenced, but there are plenty of other recipes too. And through the blog, I've made friends from across the U.S. and the world -- a real bonus. Though I don't post as frequently as I used to (life has a way of interfering), I'm planning to get back to posting once every week or so when the summer fun with family and friends tapers off.
You'll be more likely to see what I'm up to on a daily basis on my Instagram account, where it's so quick and easy to post.
I sometimes wonder whether anybody still reads my blog on a regular basis. Are we food bloggers relevant any more, now that so many other platforms have emerged? 
In any event, I thought I'd gift one faithful reader with a thank you for staying with me through the years. Some of you know I like to paint, and I've been focusing more on watercolors this summer. I haven't had a chance to get back to my oil painting in the last couple of months with so much travel and visitors taking priority.
But I painted a series of peppers a while ago, and I'm happy to part with this 8" x 8" framed, original oil painting of a red pepper, to one of you.
All you have to do is subscribe to my blog (if you haven't already - it's easy - just enter your email address in the "subscribe" box. ) Then leave a comment on the blog with an email address for me to contact you if you're chosen. (by the random computer-generated method). Follow Ciao Chow Linda on Instagram too (click here) for an extra chance to win. And for three chances to win, follow my art page on Instagram here. Buona fortuna.

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Gratinéed Red Peppers

3 medium size red peppers
1/4 cup bread crumbs
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt, pepper to taste

Core the peppers and remove the white ribs.
Cut the peppers into thirds (or quarters if large) and place on a pan smeared with olive oil.
Drizzle a little olive oil over the peppers, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake the peppers at 375 degrees for 1/2 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling by mixing together the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme.
Divide the filling among the peppers and bake for another 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Shrimp and Corn Risotto


While fresh corn on the cob is bountiful in markets, this is a great way to enjoy it. This risotto is delicious with just the shrimp and fresh cherry tomatoes if you don't live where fresh corn is in season. Heck, you can even eliminate the cherry tomatoes and make it a strictly shrimp risotto. I prefer to use yellow corn, rather than white, since it adds a prettier contrast to the rice. But markets here in New Jersey seem to have decided everyone wants white corn, and it's unfortunately difficult to find the yellow, so I have to be content with white most of the time. I used shrimp from the Carolinas that were purchased fresh off a boat close to our summer home in New Jersey. I may be overly cautious, but I try to buy seafood only from U.S. waters, where quality control seems more likely than in far-off Asian seas. Season the shrimp first with salt, pepper and paprika, and sear them on high heat. Then set them aside on a plate. You don't need to thoroughly cook the shrimp, since they'll finish cooking at the end when you add them to the risotto.

 I used my own homemade broth to make the risotto, made with the shrimp shells and the cobs after the corn was stripped. This broth keeps well in the freezer too. It really adds tremendous flavor to the dish, but if you don't want to make it, get some clam juice or seafood broth from the store. Add some fresh thyme at the end, as well as a couple of tablespoons of butter, and you'll be lapping up every morsel on the plate.

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Shrimp and Corn Risotto

printable recipe here

1/2 pound shrimp

salt, pepper and paprika

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup arborio rice

3 cups broth (I used homemade broth made with corn cobs and shrimp shells)

1 shallot

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup white wine

about half a dozen cherry tomatoes, cut in half

2 ears of corn, stripped from the cob

fresh thyme to sprinkle in

1 tablespoons butter to stir in at the end

Season the shrimp with salt, pepper and paprika.
Sear the shrimp over high heat in a pan with some olive oil (about 2 tablespoons).
Do not need to cook the shrimp all the way through since they will cook further in the risotto.
Remove the shrimp from the pan.
Saute the minced shallot in a saucepan with the olive oil and butter until softened.
Do not let the shallots brown.
Add the raw rice and stir with the shallots, butter and olive oil over medium heat.
Add the white wine and stir.
Add a ladle ful of broth at a time, stirring all the while for the rice to absorb the liquid.
Keep adding liquid for another 15 minutes, until almost cooked.
Add the shrimp, the cherry tomatoes and the raw corn and stir.
Keep adding more liquid until the risotto is cooked and there is still a bit of liquid in the pan and movement to the risotto.
If you shake the pan, it will make an "onda" or wave.
Stir in the butter and serve.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Pistachio Gelato/Ice Cream


When I'm in Italy, pistachio gelato is one of my top favorites. It looks nothing at all like the fake-green pistachio ice cream you get in the U.S, but it is a more muted green or even beige-y colored. The pistachio gelato in the photo (or ice cream if you want to call it that) was made with no artificial coloring or flavoring, but was made using  a jar of pistachio paste I brought back from a recent trip to Sicily. If Italy isn't in your immediate travel plans, you can buy pistachio paste online from many sources, although I can't vouch for any particular brand. Just make sure you buy pistachio paste or cream containing all natural ingredients.

I started with a recipe for pistachio ice cream from The New York Times, but changed the proportion of milk to cream (more cream, less milk) and amped up the flavor with some Amaretto liqueur and almond flavoring. It doesn't make it taste like almond ice cream, but somehow makes the pistachio more pistachio-y. The texture is similar to gelato you get in Italy, partly due the creaminess of the pistachio paste. Don't skip the liqueur either. Not only does it add flavor, but the alcohol keeps the ice cream scoopable. If you haven't got Amaretto (or pistachio liqueur if you can find it), even a little vodka or kirsch will do the trick.

After mixing all the ingredients, following your ice cream manufacturers instructions to churn. Then place in the freezer for a few hours or overnight to firm enough for scooping. Sprinkle with a few pistachios on top to serve.

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Pistachio Gelato/Ice Cream

printable recipe here

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

⅔ cup sugar

⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt

6 large egg yolks

1 cup pistachio paste

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 Tablespoons Amaretto liqueur


In a small pot, simmer heavy cream, milk, sugar and salt until sugar completely dissolves, about 5 minutes.

Remove pot from heat.

In a separate bowl, whisk yolks.

Whisking constantly, slowly whisk about a third of the hot cream into the yolks, then whisk the yolk mixture back into the pot with the cream.

Return pot to medium-low heat and gently cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer).

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.

Whisk in pistachio paste, almond extract and Amaretto liqueur.

Cool mixture to room temperature.

Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

Churn in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions.

Freeze until firm enough to scoop.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Pasta With Pistachio, Almond and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Almonds, pistachios and tomatoes are ubiquitous in Sicily, so it’s no wonder that recipes abound using these ingredients. This pasta dish was the primo piatto we made and enjoyed in the cooking class we attended in Palermo in April, at the beautiful palace home of Duchess Nicoletta and Duke Gioacchino Lanza Tamasi, (sadly, he died May 10, 2023). I brought back some Sicilian pistachios (the town of Bronte is known for its prized pistachios) and I put them to good use making this pesto. I bought some really wonderful sun-dried tomatoes in Philadelphia’s Italian Market that were soaked in olive oil, making them exceptionally supple and flavorful. If the ones you find are dehydrated to the point of being tough and hard, soak them in some water for a while to soften and plump them. Drain and add a little olive oil. The fresh tomatoes on top are merely to add color. The big flavor is in the pesto. Nicoletta used a pasta called ruvidelli, but I served it using busiate, a classic pasta from Sicily. Feel free to use spaghetti if you like. This dish is perfect for company since you can make thepesto way ahead of time and just boil the pasta at the last minute. My guests loved it and ate everylast strand of the busiate. One pound was enough for six people as a primo piatto, but if you’re serving it as the main course, it’s enough for four people only.

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Pasta with Pistachio, Almond and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

printable recipe here

  • 1 cup (50g) of sun-dried tomatoes
  • ½ cup (50g) of unsalted almonds (with skin on)
  • ½ cup (50g) of unsalted shelled pistachios
  • A large bunch of basil
  • A dozen fresh cherry tomatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound (500g) of Ruvidelli, busiate or other pasta
  1. Bring water to the boil in a large pot.
  2. Chop finely the sun-dried tomatoes together with the pistachios and the almonds, then add ⅔ of the basil leaves and chop them with the mixture.
  3. Put the pesto into a large bowl (the one you will eventually use to serve the pasta), add ½ cup of oil and a generous amount of pepper.
  4. Mix well and set aside for at least 1 hour.
  5. You might have to add more oil, as the pesto absorb it quickly.
  6. Cut the fresh cherry tomatoes and shred the remaining basil.
  7. Set aside while the pasta is cooking.
  8. Cook the pasta until al dente, drain it and turn it into the bowl.
  9. Toss well, add the fresh cherry tomatoes and the basil leaves and serve immediately. Serves 5-6.