Thursday, 4 July 2013

Pasta with 5 "P's"

Pasta con Pistacchio, Pancetta, Pomodoro & Prezzemolo
Pasta with Pistachio, Bacon, Tomato & Parsley

When you see the word "Bronte", you most probably think of the author, Emily Bronte, she of the Wuthering Heights. But when I think of Bronte, I do not think of the moors of England, but much rather of the hills of Sicily. Bronte is famous for its wonderful pistachios- undoubtedly some of the finest and most delicious in the world. I brought some back with me on my last trip, knowing I would have plenty of occasions tho share them with good friends on some special occasion. Well the first special occasion is right now- and the good friends I am sharing them with are all of you!

There are many, many recipes in which pasta is combined with pistachio- more often than not in the form of a rich a delicious pesto, but this evening, I wanted to make something a little lighter and more Summery... the sunny days here have been few and far-between this year- and so it seems to be something to be celebrated when one finally does come along!

And yes, most of the ingredients of this dish DO begin with the letter "P"- in Italian that is... pretty funny!  If you were to add pepper into the mix and mention that it gets tossed-together in a pan, it would be even more! To top it all off, you could also use the word "perfect"... because that was what this dish turned out as- absolutely perfect for a hot, Summer night!

I started off by boiling the pasta of course, whilst frying a little finely diced bacon in a dry, non-stick pan. After 2-3 minutes, once the bacon was beginning to brown, I added a little finely chopped onion and garlic- just a hint, stirred it through, let it sizzle together for a minute or two and then deglazed the pan with a splash of milk. I let it bubble away and bring up all of the good flavors from the pan... then quickly grabbed my chopping board...

...and finely chopped a good handful of parsley, which went in next, along with salt, pepper, nutmeg and a little green Tabasco. I added a tablespoonful of ground pistachio, stirred the mixture well and turned off the heat, letting all of the flavors infuse into the milk... then got back to my pasta, which by now was "al dente" and ready to be drained and then added to the pan with all of the parsley, bacon and infused milk.

I added a tablespoonful of fresh ricotta cheese, a drizzle of olive oil and 4-5 halved cherry tomatoes and stirred everything together well, making sure to soak up the milk as well as to disperse and spread the ricotta evenly over the pasta. I served it with a generous sprinkle of pistachio and pepper, a last, light touch of olive oil... and a very hearty appetite! Which was just perfect... because the pasta was as filling as it was delicious and simple... all very, very good reasons to give it a go! I have to say that I am really glad that I made it... but how about you?

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