209 x AllergicFoodLover : Pasta with Lebanese Pesto
Last week was a week filled with love during a lockdown, however, love shouldn’t be restrained to a 24-hour curfew, nor should you base love on that day, but rather on the other 364 days. Love comes in all shapes and forms, and it manifests itself in ways that sometimes need no words to express it. Food does that. Why is it that your grandmother’s stew is the best one on this planet? Or that someone dares say something about that 50-year-old recipe on how to cook the Christmas dinner, don’t even think about it. Nope, I said no.
But then what do you do when you have allergies? What do you do when there is an economic crisis that stops you from being able to eat what you love? Or even worse, to make those dishes that your family loves, to have to say no to something that was a commodity. Every Christmas and every Valentine's Day my father would get a box of Ferrero Rocher. I am sure that he bought them because he loved the taste, but there was that little hint of ownership, this was his box because of course these chocolates are filled with gluten, dairy and everything I can’t have. This year, supermarkets didn’t even import it because of the dollar rate. It’s a silly example, and other situations are on a whole other level of dramatical, from the powder milk to meat, to medication and gas. It sometimes feels like everything has become a luxury.
Yet there are ways, there are solutions, it might not be exactly what you were used to eating, but maybe this version is better? Maybe, this version has a greater impact on our community? Maybe, because you decided not to buy that jar of barilla pesto and instead go to the old man down the street that has fresh spinach and hindbeh, you just made his day a little sweeter. So what ends up happening when you decide to stop buying those products that have become so expensive, for reasons of having to and wanting to, and turning towards local products, you can create and recreate those dishes you love. The obstacle is how far your creativity will go. This is exactly what this dish stands for, taking the local and creating recreating something we love, yet our version of it. Use the various cuisines to inspire us and create something delicious.
The storm has arrived as they predicted. They called it Hope. This can stand for many things; it can be hope for us, for better days to come, it can be hope for the various wineries that are suffering from the climate change and the delayed winter, it can be for nature to recuperate a little. When the first drops of hope began to descend, I took out my little table, lit a candle, opened a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from Domaine Wardy, and witnessed Hope take over.
Pasta with Lebanese Pesto
Pasta of your choice, I used gluten-free penne
( 80gr – 100gr are a good serving size)
A good handful of fresh hindbeh, if you are not a fan, can be replaced with spinach or even parsley.
Four garlic cloves
Juice from one lemon
Salt and pepper
50 - 100ml olive oil – you really go with the feeling, the more olive oil, the creamier it will be.
40gr of walnuts
Salt and pepper to taste
Some pasta water roughly 100ml
Cook the pasta al dente, following the instructions on the packaging, take them out when they still have a slight chew. Empty the water, while keeping some for the pesto, put them back in their pot. Throw the pesto ingredients in a food processor, taste, add more olive oil or salt depending on your liking. Adding pasta water to the pesto will give it a smoother, silkier aspect, if you prefer the sticker version skip this part. Reheat the pot of pasta, low heat, add the pesto, mix together, and voila. Serve.
Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc, Domaine Wardy
This wine goes very well with green vegetables that have that grassier taste. The primary aromas from Sauvignon blanc are citrusy with a burst of fresh herbs, thus complements the pesto. When you pair salads, shellfish, or even sushi, sauvignon blanc will give that note of freshness for your palate. A little side note on this wine, this is their first vegan wine. The only difference between normal and vegan wine in the fining process, that is the clarification process, this is the process that gets rid of the cloudiness in wine. Animal agents are used in getting rid of those tiny particles, nowadays, wineries are using more vegetable-based ways for that. If it is a natural wine, they let the particles sink to the bottom. There isn't one that is better than the other, give them a try and if you enjoy one more than the other!
Click HERE for Wardy's Sauvignon Blanc!