Frances Mayes— poet, gourmet cook, and travel writer—opens the door to a wondrous new world when she buys and restores an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. In evocative language, she brings the reader along as she discovers the beauty and simplicity of life in Italy. Mayes also creates dozens of delicious seasonal recipes from her traditional kitchen and simple garden, all of which she includes in the book. Doing for Tuscany what M.F.K. Fisher and Peter Mayle did for Provence, Mayes writes about the tastes and pleasures of a foreign country with gusto and passion.
When I read Under The Tuscan Sun I was hooked, and promptly planned a trip to Italy. Well deserved, and well earned too, though I wont be self indulgent and recant my adventures, I will share that Tuscany did not disappoint.
With my tiny garden full of blossoming Basil I decided to make some Pesto today using a recipe I gained from attending a cooking class in Monterosso, part of the Cinque Terra.
Hand full of fresh Basil leaves
Half a hand full of Pine Nuts or Walnuts.
Garlic to taste, though I tend to be heavy handed.
All placed into the motar to be bruised with your pestle. ( Doesn’t that sound just delicious?)
Add olive oil and mix through
Add a good dash of Parmesan cheese and mix together.
Enjoy, as the Tuscans do, on chunks of crusty bread, or dipping biscuits. I’ll also be adding some to my Broccolli and Arborio Rice tonight to add flavour.
A chilled glass of something crisp and white will complement the Pesto beautifully.