CASARECCE W. GOATS CHEESE & PISTACHIO PESTO
(by Tom Mitchell-Dawson)
Summer is somewhat upon us, and reflecting that in my cooking is important to me. Without a garden, I find food is often the easiest way to inject that Summer time feeling into my home, Pesto being a big part of my seasonal diet. I love its versatility and forgivingness, that it can work in a wide range of different foods. I often use a classic Genovese pesto to dress a salad, or a sage and walnut pesto to pair with pork, and a Sicilian style pesto on toast with peak season tomatoes smothered in early harvest olive oil is a thing of beauty.
The pesto in this month's recipe swaps the harder cows cheeses for goats cheese. The subtler flavour of the goats cheese is propped up by the pepperiness of the basil and the sharp zing and zest from lemons. Pistachios found their way on the podium by way of their saltiness, adding balance to the dish after the removal of the hard cheeses and their characteristic salty notes.
I knew I wanted to use courgettes in this month's recipe but I wasn’t sure where they would fit in. Chucking them in the food processor and calling it Goat's cheese, pistachio and courgette pesto pasta didn’t seem like a fantastic idea! I opted then, that they would be stirred in at the end as a vibrant finale. Rather than sweating them down in lots of olive oil to cook, they are charred in a griddle pan, allowing them to retain a depth of flavour that is often lost to the olive oil when slowly sautéing.
Serve this recipe with a good amount of olive oil and a big squeeze of lemon, enjoy.
INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED
200g Pastaio a Mano Casarecce
1 Large Courgette
50g Basil, picked
50g Goats Cheese
1/2 Cloves Garlic
30g Olive Oil
Squeeze of Lemon
HOW TO MAKE IT
Start by making the pesto. Add all of the pesto ingredients to a food processor and blitz until you reach your desired consistency. Taste and season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon.
Next prepare the courgette. With a mandolin, slice the courgette into discs. Heat a griddle pan and, in batches, add the courgette in one layer. Grill until the flesh has developed beautifully dark charred stripes on both sides, then set aside.
Cook the pasta to a pan of boiling salted water until just al dente, making sure to reserve a little pasta water.
Add the pasta, pesto and courgette to a pan set to a low heat. Stir everything together and add a splash of pasta water to loosen. Adjust the seasoning and serve with a big squeeze of lemon and a touch of olive oil.