Linguine con pesto al pistacchio e tonno
This recipe from Gennaro Contaldo has vastly become a summer favourite. It is super easy and deliciously summery! Most time consuming part of this recipe is peeling the pistachio nuts. The best way to tackle this task is to pour a glass of “Volta Stellata” by Campo Alto, gather your friends around the kitchen table and the job is done in no time. The only risk involved is that the pistachios get eaten before they make it into the pesto…
The recipe is from Chef Gennaro Contaldo from his cookbook Vibrant Italian Recipes Celebrating the Lemon”. Gennaro is like the culinary equivalent of a warm, Italian grandmother mixed with a bit of mischievousness. His passion for pasta is practically tattooed on his soul, his cooking is simple, full of flavour and a celebration of life itself. Gennaro grew up on the Amalfi coast, hence his love for the magnificent Amalfi lemons.
The linguine with Pistachio Pesto and Tuna pairs very well with a glass of “Volta Stellata”, a new wine we discovered when visiting Trequanda this summer. We met the young and passionate Denis Meneghelli, who started working on a vineyard from a very young age. He always dreamt of growing his own vines and producing a vin nature. A Natural wine is a wine produced using minimal intervention in both the vineyard and the winemaking process. This approach emphasizes using organic or biodynamic farming methods, native yeast fermentation, and little to no additives or technological manipulations.
After saving enough capital, Denis finally made the transition 4 years ago. He produces about 2000 bottles now and his ambition is to double the production by 2024. If you every in Tuscany, make sure you pay him a visit for a wine tasting; set on top of a hill, overlooking the rolling hills of the surrounding countryside is stunning and the wines are beautiful.
320 g linguine
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 to 4 cans of tuna, drained (drained weight approx. 320 g)
Zest of 1 lemon and a dash of juice Sea salt Freshly ground black pepper
For the pesto:
200 g pistachio nuts (unsalted)
35 g Parmesan cheese, grated
Zest of 1 lemon
5 basil leaves
½ clove of garlic
160 ml extra virgin olive oil
140 ml warm water
Start by making the pesto. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the linguine until al dente.
Meanwhile, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet, add the garlic, and sauté for a minute over medium-high heat. Add the tuna chunks, a bit of salt and pepper to taste, and let it cook for about a minute to infuse the flavors.
Drain the linguine, mix it with the pesto and tuna, and stir well.
Sprinkle with lemon zest, add a dash of lemon juice, and serve immediately
Recipe from: Gennaro's Limoni: “Vibrant Italian Recipes Celebrating the Lemon” (page 94)
Wine from: Campo Alto, “Volta Stellata” 2022 Rosato di Sangiovese Toscano by Denis Meneghelli