Saturday, July 19, 2008

Garlic Scape Pesto Fettucini with Sun-Dried Tomato Sausage

I know that title is too long. Sort of like something you would find on an insecure restaurant's menu. But this was no insecure meal. And it all started with my friendly local organic gardener. Where did I meet him? You guessed it, the farmer's market. They can also be found online at

This garlic scapes - something that looks like a stiff curling green onion - were great as a pesto. Not my recipe though. I got a free copy of the recipe upon purchase of the scapes. You wouldn't see a supermarket do that. And even if they did, the recipe would probably be some disgusting concoction.

Anywho, once I'd wizzed the pesto together with my food processor, I plopped a few handfuls of fresh spinach fettucini in some well salted water (These were bought from an Italian couple who sell their pastas at the market - ravioli to be featured soon). Eight minutes later, I pulled out the cooked noodles with tongues, did not dump them in a colander but simply in a bowl and drenched in the pesto. Now I've been reading alot about Italian cooking lately and if memory serves me right, this is what you're supposed to do with your pasta. Pasta water for Italians seems to be what butter is to the French. Or something like that.

Along with this very fresh pasta, I fried a few sausages from my market Italian sausage man. His sausages are huge, flavourful and always interesting. He makes buffalo sausages, apple sausages, a variety of Italian sausages (obviously) and, my own purchase, a pork sausage with goat cheese, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. They were delicious and subtle. Their beautiful juiciness cut right through the richness of the pesto and the pasta. These ingredients complemented themselves very well.

What a joy it is to cook when things actually turn out like you wanted them to!

Amarosia's Organic Garlic Scape Pesto
5oz garlic scapes
3/4 cup olive oil (the original recipe call fro 1 cup but I find 3/4 is quite enough)
1 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/2 cup pine nuts, or walnuts
Salt and pepper to taste

Their way:

1. Coarsely chop garlic scapes, removing tough tips. Place in a blender and add 1 cup olive oil. Puree.

2. Add 1 cup parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup pine nuts. Puree again, add extra olive oil if needed.

3. Stir into freshly cooked pasta. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

My way:

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor except the olive oil. Pulse till a paste has been achieved.

2. Slowly drizzle in olive oil with processor spinning till the pesto becomes creamy and makes little slooshing sounds. The slooshing sounds are very important. Splashing means you've put too much e.v.o.o. in. Shame on you.

3. Stir into freshly cooked fresh pasta preferably made by your own hands. Season and enjoy.

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