“Ora verde della Sicilia,” means “green gold of Sicily.” This expression is referring to the Sicilian pistachio. These nuts grow well in the volcanic soil due to Mt. Etna. The production of Pistachios in Sicily have tripled since WWII, they’re mostly grown in the town of Bronte. They are very proud of these little hard shelled nuts, so much so, that they have a festival dedicated to them every September.
Sicilian pistachios are slightly different, than what we get here in the states. Their nuts are more of an oval shape, have a slightly greener color & a stronger taste. They are generally used for desserts, but you can find them in savory dishes, as in the case of my pesto.
In my Sicilian pesto, I wanted to highlight the flavor & texture of the nut. The pesto is mostly pistachios, some oil & mint. To keep some of the texture, I left the nuts somewhat chunky. The addition of the raisins came after I had mixed the pesto into the pasta. It was great but I felt like it could do more. I kept thinking sweetness. I don’t really know why, it’s just what my taste buds were telling me. I’m glad I listened to them, the raisins took the dish to another level of deliciousness.
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