Simple, tasty and prepared in no time at all. I love Italian pasta cuisine for this alone. This linguine with basil and caper pesto is a recipe from Sicily. The dish is rounded off with a fine polpa di pomodoro.
The golden apple
Pomodoro is the Italian name for tomatoes, literally translated, it means “golden apple”. Originally from South America, tomatoes were only ornamental plants in Europe for a long time. In Italy, the first written recipe is found in cookery books from the 18th century: a sugo alla spagnola (“Spanish-style sauce”). It was the chefs of the French royal family who began to sweeten various meat sauces with tomatoes from Spain in the 17th century. The first time was probably at the wedding of Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, the daughter of Philip III of Spain.
Since then, tomato sauce has become a cornerstone of Italian cuisine. Its production still preoccupies and unites many Italian families between July and September when harvesting, preserving, straining or freezing. In the past, tomatoes were preserved differently. After cooking, they were drained, dried in the sun, well salted and kept covered with olive oil in a sealed earthenware pot.
If you need aromatic tomatoes out of season today – and you have not canned them yourself – it is best to reach for a tin. Selected, sun-ripened tomatoes are gently processed within 12 hours of harvesting. The diced tomatoes are preserved in extra-thick tomato juice. They give the sauce a fresh taste and round off the green pesto perfectly with their mild sweetness.
Linguine with basil and caper pesto
- 1 pan
- 1 pot
- 1 colander
- 360 g Linguine
- 1 clove garlic
- 200 g polpa di pomodoro, in summer 10 small tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
For the pesto
- 1 larger bunch basil
- 30 g capers, desalted (see tip)
- 1 small clove garlic
- 30 g almonds, peeled
- ½ chilli pod
- 4 cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 generous pinch coarse salt
- For the pesto, wash and dry the basil and remove the coarse stems. Peel the garlic. Dip the cherry tomatoes briefly in boiling water, peel and remove the seeds. Then puree all the ingredients in a blender until you have a smooth cream. In the process, pause often because basil can discolour when it gets warm. Season to taste with salt.
- Cook the linguine in plenty of salted water until al dente. In the meantime, fry the garlic clove in olive oil in a non-stick pan. Add the polpa di pomodoro. Season with salt and fry briefly over a high heat.
- Strain the pasta and add to the pan. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the pesto and mix well. If you like, decorate with a few basil leaves and halved cherry tomatoes.
Desalting capers: Soak the capers that have been preserved in salt in a bowl of water at room temperature for 24 hours. Change the water regularly!
Fresh basil in winter: In winter, I make this pesto with frozen basil. Wash the fresh basil leaves in summer, pat them dry, stack them in containers and put them in the freezer. The leaves freeze separately and can be taken out individually. In this way, the basil retains its intense fragrance.