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Pistacchio Pesto, Sicilian Sunshine in a Bottle

Beth Ribblett

We've been coveting this bottle of Pesto di Pistacchio di Bronte since we returned from our trip to Sicily in October. We were leaving our home in Lingaglossa on Mount Etna and stopped in the little wine shop that we frequented during our visit. As Sicilian's take great pride in their local products, the little store was packed with honey, chocolates, pistacchios, jams, wine and other culinary delights from that part of the island.

Not wanting to open it, we hid it in our pantry waiting as close to the expiration date as we could. So one night last week we grilled some Tuscan style steaks, reluctantly but excitedly, opened the bottle and stirred up the contents. Scents of Sicilia instantly rose from the jar, bringing us right back to the eastern coast of the island where pistacchio di Bronte have an almost sacred status. Check out this site, bronte insieme, if you want more information on this most amazing place and nut. Below is a recipe from their site:

PISTACHIO PESTO
Ingredients: one bunch of basil, one bunch of parsley, 50 grams pistachios, 20 grams pine nuts, 30 grams toasted almonds, olive oil, 30 grams parmesan, salt and pepper.
In a blender, puree the pistachios, pine nuts, toasted almonds, parmesan and a handful each of parsley and basil. Add as much olive oil as needed, along with salt and pepper. Blend until it forms a smooth paste.
This pesto goes well with penne pasta, spaghetti and gnocchi.