I finally booked my trip back to Italy to visit my family. Delicious “pesce azzurro” (oily fish from Mediterranean Sea) and my mom’s specialties are waiting for me! Yay!
There’s one sweet childhood memory linked to this Pasta Tricolore (pasta three-colors, recalling the Italian Flag). I was 10 years old and my daddy took me on vacation to Chiavari and Le Cinque Terre. Five miles of rocky coast between two promontories, thousands of kilometers of dry-laid stone walls, five small towns castled up on stone spurs in minuscule creeks. He loved the breeze of the sea in early June, when there’s no hubbub on the beaches and you can still enjoy the sound of the water crashing the rocks. I was wearing a pink straw hat, a shirt, jeans and a pair of dark blue tennis shoes with white ribbon instead of shoelaces. We ate this pasta together in a tiny little trattoria in Chiavari, served in an oval white dish. I loved that day.
GROCERY SHOPPING (2 people)
6 oz of Rotini De Cecco
FOR PESTO SAUCE
50 g of basil
40 g of Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano, freshly grated
10 g of Pecorino, freshly grated
2 cloves of garlic
100 ml of EVOO
3 grains of coarse salt
FOR CAPRINO SAUCE
2 oz of Fresh Goat Cheese
1 tbsp of Milk
Salt & Pepper
FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE
1 clove of garlic
8 Campari Tomatoes
3 leaves of Basil
1 tbsp of EVO
A pinch of salt
PESTO – Start washing the basil, preserve only the leaves, and allow them to dry on a towel. Put all your ingredients in the food processor at once and use the maximum speed, stopping the processor three or four times to let the blades cool down. Cover with a thin layer of olive oil to avoid oxidation.
FRESH TOMATO SAUCE – Proceed with tomato sauce. Wash the tomatoes, cut them in half and put them into a sauce pan over medium heat. They will start releasing water and smash in 4/5 minutes. Remove from heat, pass them in the food mill and let it stand. Warm olive oil with garlic in another sauce pan over medium heat. When garlic is golden, Stir in tomato puree, season with a pinch of salt and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Keep it warm over very low heat.
In the meantime, cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water.
CAPRINO SAUCE – Put the chopped cheese with milk in a butter warmer over low heat. It will melt into a creamy cheesy sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste, and stir till the cream is even and uniform. Add more milk if you want it to be more liquid. Keep it warm over very low heat.
Before draining the pasta, combine the pesto with a few tablespoons of the cooking water and stir. Drain pasta in a colander. Plate up fusilli and dress them with the three sauces, starting from left to right as in the Italian flag: green pesto, white caprino sauce and red tomato sauce.