When on the island of Procida… life gives you lemons. Not the sour kind that make you pucker, but the big fat ones with a lot of pith.
You could call them “pithy”, worth their bite. They are called Limoni di Pane. Bread lemons. You can make a salad out of them they are so substantial.
I have taken a fancy to making a quick summer lemon pesto. It’s fresh, not too astringent and goes incredibly well with pasta, potatoes, and especially risotto.
Since it’s mostly lemon peel, chopped fine and mixed with pine nuts, olive oil, salt and pepper, you could also add it like a dressing on just about anything. Fabulous on fish! It will transport you to the islands in the Mediterranean and bring up visions of blue skies, sailboats, colorful beach umbrellas, spritzes and a sparkling sea.
4 lemons, preferably organic
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
parsley, chopped for garnish
Parmigiano Reggiano, grated for topping
red pepper flakes, for flavoring
Peel, slice and chop lemon rinds from 4 lemons very fine. Put in a bowl.
Add garlic, crushed or chopped fine, and pine nuts, also finely chopped.
Add 1/2 cup or so of extra virgin olive oil and the juice of two of the lemons. Stir. Set aside to marinate.
Cook pasta at dente, drain and add to a serving bowl. Mix with the lemon pesto.
Garnish with chopped parsley, grated Parmigiano and red pepper flakes.
And there you have an exquisite summer pasta.