January 17, 2011

International Day of Italian Cuisine

Following friends on Twitter and Facebook keep me up to date with what's happening all over the world.

Today, much to my amazement is the International Day of Italian Cuisine and they are celebrating by making Pesto- all around the world.

Am I the only person thinking that it is an odd choice?
Pesto in Winter?  I know, we can get fresh herbs from green houses all year long and somewhere in the world it is the season for fresh basil.

If like me, here in the heart of Tuscany, your basil in your garden is dead, try my friend Federico's Sage Pesto

Here the sage leaves grow large and are fabulous fried in a light batter as an appetizer and lightly salted. The butchers make a fabulous Tuscan Herb Blend, the trinity being; Rosemary, Sage and Garlic with sea salt. 

Federico's Sage Pesto
1 handful of young sage leaves, stems removed
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Finely chop the sage leaves by hand. Do not use a blender to chop the sage! 

I first slice them width-wise and then finely chop them with a very sharp knife. 

Mince the garlic and add all the ingredients to a bowl.

You can chop the walnuts in the blender.  

Stir well and taste to adjust salt and cheese. This will be thick mixture.

Before serving, place some of the pesto in the serving bowl and thin with a ladle of the hot pasta water. 

Add drained pasta of your choice and toss. 

I usually serve the dish topped with more grated cheese on fettuccine. 

Grazie Federico!


  1. A perfect pesto, an interesting blend.

  2. My basil is dead too right now. But I love this variation.

  3. sounds great, trying that this week - just did a kale pesto recently and didn't turn out as well as hoped.