Saturday, 4 February 2012

Beats And Eats - Kettle Of Kites

knew getting married would have a plus side!  That hefty looking pestle and mortar sat dormant in my kitchen for over two years since we received it as a wedding present.  That is until last Wednesday, when, continuing in my quest to cook all the recipes in The Pop Cop's Scottish Musician Cookbook, I made Pesto Alla Genovese contributed by Tom Stearn of Kettle Of Kites.

Feeling all authenicy and like a genuine Italian cook I began to make the pesto.  The ingredients called for pine nuts (check), olive oil (check), lots of fresh basil (check) garlic (check) sea salt (check) parmesan cheese (check) and pecorino cheese (uncheck).  Despite my search of a few supermarkets I could not find any pecorino cheese, so to compesate I doubled up on the parmesan.  The end result tasted lovely so I'm presuming this was an ok move to make.  Making the pesto in the pestle and mortar was the most exercise I have done in a long time, and all good exercise needs some music to soundtrack it.  Luckily for me I had the tunes of Kettle Of Kites on hand to listen to, and 'Not Tall Enough's cheery and fast paced tempo helped my smoosh that paste in no time!

I liked the technical details of this recipe, I for one had no idea that the quantity of salt used helped determine how the pasta cooked.  After peeling mu potatoes and topping and tailing my green beans I popped them into some boiling water.  I had chosen to use linguini pasta, and after leaving the veg cooking for a few minutes threw this in along with the veg to cook.  During this downtime I had a listen to 'Dunmore', which is a very laid back track, a nice little acoustic folk song which sounds a little like Admiral Fallow at points.

Another thing I loved about this recipe is that it was very simple and easy to make.  Just before the pasta finished cooking I divided up the pesto, mixed in some water, then topped off with the finished pasta and veg.  A good handful of parmesan cheese and black pepper on top and we were ready to eat!  To compliment the eating we listened to 'Mr Pearl' an jaunty number which showcases Tom's voice very well.

Tasting Notes

Tom get's bonus points straight away for a very detailed and concise recipe which was easy to follow.  Top man!  It also looked very nice, and had an authenic feel about it.

The pesto I found very nice.  There is something true about things tasting good if you have to work hard to make them.  And that was without the pecorino cheese, which I'm sure would have enhanced the taste even further.  I'm also a bit fan of linguine pasta.

The mark downs for me were the green beans, and this is purely because of personal tastes not due to the recipe.  I'm not a bit green bean fan, I would have enjoyed this much more without them.  And I prefer my potatoes with a bit more flavour, whereas in this recipe they were a bit bland.

Overall I'm going to give this 3/5 basil leaves.

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