My 2 kilos of fava beans await my arrival today to make the dip. The scales will come out and a corrected recipe will be written up in no time

But there is more, we are so close to a place called PRA, it is where they grow the finest basil to make the traditional Genovese Pesto and I am fortunate enough to have met a man who can supply me with boxes of the basil. The basil he supplies also gets flown to the UK to supply the Royal Family!  A large box ended up on the aft deck yesterday with  Daniele  as he arrived to help with some hydraulics that we have to fix before we leave for Sardinia.

My box of twenty bunches will be turned into pesto today with some fresh pine nuts, pecorino or parmesan, a small amount of garlic and of course delicious Ligurian or Sardinian olive oil.

Basil from Pra is so different to the regular basil we all know around the world, the leaves are so small rounder and lighter in colour and quite often if used in a salad their flavour is not as strong. Having learnt from the Genovese friends I have you can only make Pesto with basil from Genova, and having spent time here now I realise what they are saying. The flavour of basil from Naples is different as is the basil from Sardinia, so if you are making it from basil that you grew at home it will be different again! There are mint flavours, liquorice, bitter all that change the true flavour of pesto and to a real pesto epicurean ( Genovese people ) you cannot make it other than with basil from Genova. It is the climate here that makes it the way it is and should any of you visit this area, you must try it here in Genova, or this region and enjoy it with fresh pasta, french beans and boiled potatoes,  or pesto lasagne.

Shopping at the local pasta shops is a joy as you look at their counters where fresh pasta lies in large trays waiting to be bought for lunch or dinner that day. Fresh lasagne leaves are weighed and wrapped up, small punnets of pesto are filled and taken home to be enjoyed. Trofie, spaghetti, or gnocchi dusted in semolina flour, scooped up with a large spoon into a punnet and weighed. Another traditional pasta here is a ravioli filled with borage and other herbs and served with a walnut sauce which is thick and delicious, but quite heavy I find.

Traditional pastas are found throughout the country each area having its own and the only way in which I am going to learn about them all is to spend time visiting the whole of Italy, which in my mind cannot be a bad thing  !  Having spent quite a bit of time of the East coast 1 hr south of Rimini in a small town called Fano where we built the 45m sailing yacht, I was able to eat pasta di Farro a form of spelt as I cannot tolerate wheat that well but Farro is fine. I have this onboard with me all the time now as we all enjoy the different nutty flavour of the pasta.

I will definitely have to come back to Pasta as it is an area that is so detailed and will take me a while to explore, but when I am in new areas it is certainly one thing that is worth while enjoying and learning about.

Farro also is a great grain that is a relative of Spelt which is now grown productively in Cornwall, England as so many people have an intolerance to the modern-day wheat which has unfortunately been tampered with so that it can be produced to its maximum capacity in the shortest period of time…. the problem with our developing and growing world.

We need to take a look at what is happening with mass production of food it is a scary issue, but again this is an issue I must take up another time, I have cookies and cakes to bake today, and a Fava bean dip recipe to write, before we set sail to Sardinia tomorrow as our race crew arrive on Sunday when I have to start to make 70 sandwiches a day until Sunday June 13th…

ciao, ci vediamo dopo

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