Yes, the summer is over, well almost (I like to hold onto the metheorogical potential surprises of these last 10 days of season still ahead of us), our tanned allure close to be a memory of old good times gone and our new season's resolutions yet to be proven. Nevertheless, we can still keep it light as we face a desirable pasta dish. The freshest and easy on the stomach ingredients are still on the market stalls, reminding me how easy and quicker it is to apply the DIY rule when it comes to matters of the kitchen. Last July I visited the Amalfi coast for 7, precious days, in order to meet the key people & restaurateurs that make it the unique mediterranean gem that it is: the ultimate romantic and foodie destination. And there I was, amongst the most eligible foods on the most spectacular dining spots. Back home, I would take the inspirations grabbed from these scrumptious meals and make a different shape of Pasta Rummo on a daily basis. Its Lenta Lavorazione - slow drying method - allows me to take my time while the conchiglie are cooking and enjoy the bliss of making a delicious sauce while reading the captivating, last chapter of that summer read I'm so into.
MINT & LEMON PESTO CONCHIGLIE PASTA
Ingredients for 4 persons:
- 320 gr. conchiglie (or other pasta of your choice)
- salt for pasta water (to taste)
- 2 unwaxed organic lemons
- 1 bunch of fresh mint
- 1 clove of fresh garlic
- 30 gr. of Pecorino romano cheese (or Parmesan, or Asiago)
- 50 gr. of blanched whole almonds
- 4 tbs of extravirgin olive oil
Wash the lemons with a wire brush, dry and remove the rind, the yellow part only*. Immerse them for one minute in boiling water, drain well and place 2/3 in the mixer.
Add the almonds, the pecorino cheese roughly chopped, a clove of garlic, 5-6 mint leaves and a pinch of salt; blend the ingredients until you get a creamy sauce. With the machine in motion add the oil, then transfer the pesto in a bowl. Cut the remaining lemon peel into julienne strips.
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water, add a ladle of its starchy water to the pesto sauce and stir. Drain the pasta al dente, mix it with the pesto and lemon, add a few mint leaves and the julienne cut lemont zest and serve.
*Remove the yellow part only of the lemon peel because the white one, the so-called albedo, is bitter. To facilitate the process, you can use the special tool called zester, alternatively a simple vegetable peeler will do. Remember that when you have to use the zest, not only of the lemons but of all citrus fruits in general, it is very important to buy fruits that haven't been treated with pesticides, which are harmful substances very difficult to remove even with a thorough cleaning.
With love and summer pesto,