My Favorite Summer Ingredients…


Recipe n. 22

I love Summer time and with it the fruits and vegetables available during this season. Soon we are going to spend some time in Italy to visit my family and I can’t wait to eat all the simple and tasty dishes made with some of my favorites ingredients: fresh tomatoes, basil, capers and olives. I’m also looking forward to picking lemons from our trees and fresh herbs and sitting outside in the evening, when finally after a hot day spent at the beach, sometimes there is a light and pleasant breeze in the air which brings up the wonderful scents of the plants and flowers in our garden. I really miss all of that. Meanwhile, while we are still here in the city I try to anticipate this memory of summertime in Sicily during my childhood, cooking the same kinds of dishes. Yesterday I cooked ‘insalata di pasta’ and had dinner with my family on the sun terrace of the building where we live.


  • 1 fresh bunch of basil (about 2 cups)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ¼  cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Sweet Cherry tomatoes chopped (you can use any kind of tomatoes)
  • Pitted black and green olives sliced in roundels.
  • Short Pasta (I like to use whole wheat fusilli)
  • Salt and Pepper

In a food processor place 1 garlic clove and pulse until chopped. Add the basil, pine nuts, salt and pepper and pulse a few more times. Add the olive oil slowly until you obtain a creamy pesto. Transfer to a large salad bowl and mix with Parmesan cheese. Add the chopped olives and tomatoes.

In a medium stockpot with salted boiling water add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta, transfer to the bowl with the other ingredients and mix well before serving. Keep it refrigerated if you’re not eating it right away.

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