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Greens for the Blues

I had hoped that the title of this post would be GOOOOOOOAL ITALIA, but the Spanish national team felt otherwise. After La Furia Roja routed Gli Azzurri 4-0 in the Euro Cup finals on Sunday, my plan to celebrate an Italian win with the 2003 Monsanto Il Poggio Chianti Classico Riserva was thwarted. It’s a good thing I didn’t impulse buy that Buffon jersey.

In packaging, no one beats the Italians – except in this case, the Swiss

But such is the soothing power of wine – it tastes just as good and necessary after a loss as after a win. When I got home from The Owl Farm, a new beer bar in Park Slope where we watched the match, I whizzed up a big batch of pesto in the Cuisinart, mixed it with blanched English peas and ternetta, a linguini-shaped pasta, and grated some Pecorino over the top. Faster than the steam could clear from Balotelli’s ridiculous blond fauxhawk, dinner was served. A twirl of pasta washed down with the Chianti, still redolent of fresh cherries, sure tasted like victory to me.


1 large bunch of basil, leaves only

1/2 c. hazelnuts

1/2 c. almonds

2 tbsp. sea salt

The juice and zest of one lemon

1/4-1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil

several cranks of freshly ground black pepper

This one comes out a very dark green owing to the usage of un-skinned hazelnuts and almonds instead of the traditional pine nuts. The only pestos I've made that stayed vibrant green in color after coming into contact with hot pasta were ones made with chives or parsley instead of basil. Even Harold McGee is befuddled as to how to keep basil pesto green without compromising the taste. So I just wouldn't worry about it - enjoy!

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