Friday, 20 September 2013

Broccolipesto pasta

I have a somewhat divided (schitzophrenic, dissosiative personality disorderly or what ever name we're currently using for it) relationship with the kitchens of the world. Obviously Spanish one has a very special place in my corazon, but when I'm in Finland, my cooking is mostly Middle East - inspired. When I'm there, my palate is so saturated with hummus and falafel that the only food I can think of is Italian - proper Italian I've yet to find in the region. Once, in Betlehem, I was practically reduced to tears by coming across a jar of pesto. tears of happiness, luckily.

The most famous one is the Ligurian variety, Pesto Genovese made of basil, but there are a whoooole lot of varieties out there with all sooorts of herbs. The word pesto itself comes from the word pestare which means crushing or pounding - which is coincidentally also where pestle, mortar's best friend, got its name from too.

This time I made some with broccoli. As the colour seemed a bit bland, I also added a handful of the spring onion stalks and the remains of a basil that was on its last legs. 

The ingredients that just about all the pesto recipes have in common are olive oil, parmesan and pine nuts, though the last bit I substituted with some dry-roasted almonds.

This makes enough pesto for 4-6 person portion. It also keeps in the fridge for at least a week provided you pour a layer of oil on top. Any leftovers can also be frozen.

1 (400g) head of broccoli
the zest of 1 lemon
the juice of 1/2-1 lemon
2 garlic cloves
1 dl finely grated parmesan
50 gr almonds
2 dl olive oil
salt, black pepper
handful of spring onion stalks
handful of basil leaves

Steam the broccoli and pound in a mortar to a paste. Or pure quickly in a blender. Cook pasta (spaghetti, linguine or bucatini work best) according to the instructions on the package and drain, reserving just a little of the cooking liquid. Toss in the pesto and serve.




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