I love this recipe because it's seasonal. There's something wonderful about waiting for the ingredients to be harvested before having it. It makes the dish something to be coveted and prized. I like Sicilian Pesto more than I like Ligurian, because it's spicier and I normally don't make pesto until the fresh herbs in the garden are ready for picking. This recipe takes that a step further. Garlic Scapes are only available here in June and July. The further south you are then the early that is, the further north the later. That makes this the availability of this dish very limited. I eagerly await the scapes in my garden just so I can make this, and I'll make it several times before the scapes run out. It's great with any pasta: spaghetti, ravioli, whatever. In this recipe I make it with rotini which really catches all the flavor. Try it with whatever pasta you like, but make sure you use fresh herbs and scapes. —panania
- Prep time 15 minutes
- Cook time 15 minutes
- Serves 4 dinner portions
Salt (one for the pasta and one for the pesto)
Red Pepper Flakes
Rotini (or your favorite pasta)
Freshly Grated Parmesan
- Put the water on to boil. When it does, add the Rotini, stir and when it boils again add a dash of salt.
- In a food processor, add the garlic scapes and one tablespoon of the oil. Pulse for several seconds until the scapes are well chopped and of uniform size bits. Stir your pasta!
- Add another tablespoon of oil and add the leaves of the mint and the leaves of the parsley. Add one dash of salt and the pepper flakes. Pulse again for several seconds until all the ingredients are incorporated. Stir your pasta!
- Add another tablespoon of oil and add the pistachios. Pulse again for several seconds until all the ingredients are smooth. You may need a rubber spatula to pull some of the mixture from the side and push it back down into the mix. Stir your pasta!
- Pour the last tablespoon of oil into a 5 quart sauté pan (or whatever you have that's similar). Heat it. Add the pesto. Heat it. Stir your pasta!
- Reserve a cup of the pasta water and test the pasta. As soon as it is ready pull the pot (or, depending on your stove lift it) next to the sauté pan. Using a slotted spoon (or whatever utensil you prefer) add the pasta into the pan and mix. If the pesto seems dry in spots, add some of the pasta water. You want all the pasta coated, and you don't want it dry, but you don't want it wet either. Find the right balance for you.
- Timing is key. You want the pesto to just start bubbling across the pan when you add the pasta, so don't go too hot or it'll dry up and burn and don't go too cool or it won't heat up. Once it is all thoroughly tossed, bowl it up and cover with a healthy portion of cheese.