People constantly ask me, “What’s your favorite spiralized recipe?”
Normally, it’s asked in relation to the Inspiralized cookbook and that question specifically is so tough to answer- I have so many favorites from my cookbook, because I filled it with my absolute best recipes (I pulled out all the stops!)
My favorite recipe depends totally on that day – what my mood is, what the temperature is outside, what’s in season, how much time I have to cook, what I ate that day, what I drank the night before (muahaha!) and also, who I’m eating with.
However, there’s one dish that I’ll always default to when sometime asks me, although it’s somewhat summertime-y: chicken fettuccine with pesto and fresh tomatoes.
Nothing brings me back to home than a pesto dish. Growing up, I used to go over to my grandparents’ house just to have something slathered with my grandfather’s pesto. It was cheesey, smelt of the freshest basil and of course, I’d watch him prepare this magical concoction in a magical device (which now, in my elder years, understand it’s a food processor!)
I actually did a feature on a summer night at my grandparents’, which you can read here (it actually contains part of what became the introduction to my cookbook!) Here are a couple snaps from that post:
But really, he makes the best pesto. Every time I tried to recreate it, there was something off – not salty enough, too salty, too little basil, too many pine nuts, too creamy, too thick.
I think this is very common, especially with Italian American cooks – we do a little extra pinch of this or that in the end, which sets the whole recipe off, especially when you’re trying to write it down.
Right now, he’s battling pancreatic cancer, which can instantly bring tears to my eyes, so I won’t say much beyond that. But when he has the strength, seeing him back in the kitchen, cooking, fills my heart with happiness.
I love fettuccine especially, because there’s more surface area for the pesto to smear onto. Who doesn’t love more pesto per bite?
Unfortunately, this perfect fettuccine noodle can only be made with the Inspiralizer, but if you don’t have the Inspiralizer, I suggest using a thicker spaghetti noodle on one of the other spiralizers out there (I recommend the Paderno 3-blade Spiral Slicer otherwise.)
As you bite into each thick fettuccine noodle, you get a blast of flavor from the quick-cooked tomatoes, which adds a hint of sweetness and a freshness that’s surprisingly amazing.
Overall, this dish is one of my favorites definitely, on account of the pesto.