Friday, March 9, 2012

Pasta with Pistachios, Meyer Lemon and Broccoli

Nobody in their right mind would call this an "Italian" recipe.

It has California written all over it in the good sense of the word not the "other" one but the CC is not going to get into that particular Vietnam.

That having being said, it's quite an intriguing flavor combination, and with the right fresh ingredients definitely knocks it out of the park.

This being the season for Meyer lemons, and also the season where brassica fatigue has set in, is probably the right time to make something that will make your tastebuds perk up.

There are some real curveballs here at least if you are used to cooking Italian food. The "pesto" is heated up which sounded really strange but actually is correct once you understand which ingredients are being used.

This is a homage not "authentic" and should be clearly understood as such.

It's also freakin' delicious!


2 cups penne (anything long and tubular)
1 cup pistachios
1 cup parsley
1/2 cup mint
2 cloves garlic
4 dried red chilli peppers
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano
2 Meyer lemons (zested and rest juiced)

1/2 cup olive oil (your finest!)

2 cups broccoli florets

parmigiano reggiano (grated)
black pepper


Preheat the oven to 325°F. Roast the pistachios for about 8 minutes. Let cool.

Grind to a coarse powder in a food processor. Set aside.

Meanwhile, put the lemon zest, parsley, mint, garlic, dried red chilli peppers, olive oil and parmigiano-reggiano in the same food processor, and grind to a loose paste.

There is some parallelism below so read carefully before execution.

For the pasta, heat some water with tons of sea salt. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the pasta and let cook for 9 minutes. Add the broccoli and let cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Grab a cup of the boiling pasta water, and add it to the paste above. Add the coarse powdered pistachios and cook in a skillet at medium high heat for about 2 minutes.

Drain the pasta and the broccoli and put in a large bowl.

Add the cooked "pesto" above, and the juice from the lemons.

Toss, and let sit for about 4-5 minutes.

Serve with the parmigiano reggiano on top with additional black pepper.

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