Recipes for August

It is really too hot to cook. I had friends to dinner and planned to start with pasta with pesto Trapanesi. At the last minute I decided it was too hot for pasta so I added cold vegetable stock and served the pesto as a cold soup. It was delicious.

Pesto Trapanesi

Pasta with tomato and almond pesto

500 g short, dry pasta

8 large red tomatoes

3 T blanched almonds

1 tea cup mint leaves

4 cloves garlic, peeled

4 T extra virgin olive oil

salt and black pepper

To serve as a cold soup add 500 ml cold vegetable  stock

 Plunge the tomatoes into boiling water for a few minutes, remove with a  slotted spoon and peel off the skins, and cut into quarters. Place the almonds in a food processor and chop roughly, then add the garlic, mint or basil and salt. Chop until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs. Now pour in the oil, process, then add the tomatoes. It is important not to over-process. There should be a slightly gritty texture. This sauce can be prepared in advance. When ready to eat bring a large pot of water to a brisk boil, add some coarse salt and throw in the pasta. When it is still al dente drain and stir in enough pesto sauce to coat the pasta. There should not be extra sauce left in the bottom of the serving bowl.

Pasta alla crudaiolo

500 g pasta (preferebaly De Cecco or pasta fron Gragnano)

500 small ripe tomatoes chopped

6 large basil leaves, roughly torn

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt and a little chilli oil or chilli

2 T extra virgin olive oil

Chop all the ingredients and leave in the fridge. A little diced mozzarella is sometimes added.

Cook the pasta al dente, drain and stir in  the tomato mixture.

Serve at room temperature

 Salmon fillets wrapped in lettuce leaves

This is a useful recipe which has evolved over the years as I have cooked for friends and family. It is a hybrid and I can’t identify the origins.

6 small salmon fillets

18 to 24 long lettuce leaves

1 half fennel bulb, sliced finely

1 onion, sliced finely

1 T extra virgin olive oil

200 g butter

2 T dry white wine

Salt and pepper

Fresh dill, optional

6 squares aluminum foil

 Blanch the lettuce for a few minutes in a little lightly-salted boiling water. Carefully remove from the water and spread out on a tea towel to drain. Gently cook the fennel and onion in a covered pan until soft. Season the salmon and carefully wrap completely in the lettuce leaves. Butter the foil and spoon on a little fennel and onion.  Place the salmon on top and dot with butter and a little dill if available. Sprinkle on a little wine and fold up the foil to make a sealed parcel. When all the parcels are ready place in a baking tin and cook in a pre-heated 180 0 oven for 15 minutes.  Remove from the foil and carefully transfer to individual plates.



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