I love using pistachio nuts in cooking and in Sicily they produce some of the best. They are so widely used in all different applications for desserts, custards and creams, savoury dishes as crusts and are fantastic in granitas and gelato. The Sicilian cuisine knows truly how to celebrate the joys of this loved nut. This pesto unlike creamy pesto pastas that we are use to is a fresh light pasta sauce that can be made in minutes. The pesto once made can be used as a dip or tossed with steamed vegetables for a nutty dressing.
Makes 3/4 cup of pesto
Bring a large pot of salted water onto boil. Score the base of the tomatoes and plunge them into the water for 30 seconds or until the skin starts to peel away from the base.
Remove the tomatoes and place them into cold water. Peel off the skin and remove the seeds. Dice the flesh and set aside.
To make the pesto, blend the nuts together in a food processor with the garlic and parsley for that flash of green and slowly add in the oil until the desired consistency is reached. The pesto should not be too runny nor too dry. Season with salt and set aside.
Put the pasta in to boil as directed on the pack, when draining the pasta reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy based fry pan and add in the garlic, fry the garlic for a couple of minutes and then remove it as we want only the flavour of the garlic.
Add the prawns and fry for 30 seconds on each side without moving them around too much. You may need to fry them in batches to avoid them stewing. This should be a very quick sauce so that the prawns don’t overcook.
Add in the diced tomatoes and the white wine and simmer for 30 seconds, stir in a good 4 tablespoons of the pesto and add in a little of the pasta water to create a sauce, season with cracked pepper and toss in the drained pasta to cover.
Serve with extra pistachio nuts.