Nonna Margherita Dottorelli in her kitchen, 1905
Some excellent Tuscan recipes from her granddaughter Marta, who refuses to be just a character in a novel called The Whirling Girl, made up by that writer.Today, Simple Pesto (with pine nuts):
In Tuscany it is the time of the filling of cellars and
attics for the winter, with our farm’s abundance.
But disgracefully, I (yes Marta Dottorelli!) have been so busy helping with the vendemmia (the harvesting of our grapes to make our year’s supply of wine) that I have not had time to tell you of my earlier harvest of pignoli, the delicious nuts from the pine trees that grow along the lane leading from our farm to the house where the beautiful Signora Chiara lives.
Where, of course, I also do Signora Chiara’s work.
ALLORA! BUT NOW BECAUSE I AM TIRED, I will give you today just a simple recipe that will keep your winter meals happy too, if you make enough to freeze.
To make one batch of my Pesto you will need:
-- 50 grams of the leaves of your good basil
-- 3 large cloves of garlic
-- 40 grams of pine nuts lightly toasted
-- 120 grams of parmeggiano cheese grated
-- At least 3 big cooking spoons of olive oil (more if necessary).
-- Sea salt
-- Pepper freshly ground
The basil you will chop roughly and put into your blender or your mini-food-processor (the woman who write the novel where she tries to keep me silent will tell you I do not have one of these. She is wrong).
Or, if you have more time than I have, you can use a mortar and a pestle, the way Nonna Margherita used to do.