We sure are. Long distance cycle training requires loads of fuel, so we're stoking up on the pasta (not to mention the ice cream). Fortunately both Nello and Marc like nothing better than to sit down to a steaming plateful of noodles after a few hours in the saddle.
We'd like you to think of this page as an antipasto -- an appetizer -- to the Ride for Life Web site, a little taster of what you'll find and enjoy inside. And before you ask: no, it's not us in the picture opposite but Marc's kids, Bella and Guy, undertaking serious ice cream research in southern Italy last year.
Richard Turner, Executive Chef of both Casa Tino's Restaurant, Mere Green and Loyds Restaurant, Knowle is a talented and innovative rising star. The meal that he prepared for Loyds Gourmet Evening was truly inspirational and of the highest quality. Here Richard shares with us a delightful summer recipe.
Richard's Minestrone Soup with Pesto
1 litre good quality vegetable stock
500 g. brunoise of mixed vegetables (finely chopped) -- carrots, celery, shallots, broccoli, french beans, kidney beans
120 g fusilli pasta
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
For the Pesto
About 40 pine kernels
2 cloves garlic
125 g parmesan cheese
300 ml extra virgin olive oil
To make the pesto, simply place the pine kernals, garlic, parmesan cheese and basil leaves into a fast liquidizer, then add the olive oil and season to taste.
For the minestrone, saute the root vegetables in olive oil until al dente. Add the vegetable stock and simmer gently for five minutes. Remove from the heat. In a separate saucepan of boiling water cook the broccoli until al dente, then refresh in iced water. Follow the same procedure for the french beans. Wash the kidney beans. Cook the pasta until al dente then refresh in iced water.
To serve, take the vegetable stock with the brunoise of vegetables into a stainless steel or copper saucepan, heat and add the pasta, broccoli, french beans and kidney beans. Heat through until all ingredients are warm and season to taste. Serve in a warm deep bowl, drizzle the pesto on top, and finish with ground black pepper. Additional flaked parmesan cheese can be added if so required.
Wine Suggestion: Pesto, of course, is the great dish of Liguria: if you can get ahold of a bottle, try this super summer vegetable medley with a zesty Cinque Terre white. Alternatively, one of the fuller Vermentino whites from Bolgheri would be a good partner, or else a robust, dry rose such as Vin Ruspo from Carmignano. MM
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