~ Mandilli di Seta al Pesto ~
Silk Handkerchief Pasta with Creamy-Style Pesto
Edible Begonia, Basil, and Pecorino Romano Garnish
Imagine a pasta that is a gorgeous shade of olive green, higher in fiber and lower in net carbs than traditional noodles. One that is full of plant-based pea protein, organic, and gluten-free. My friends at Explore Cuisine make such an extraordinary noodle. It is produced in Italy of green lentil flour (50%), green pea flour, and brown rice flour.
Usually used for lasagna recipes, here the rectangular green lentil sheets stand in for handkerchief pasta in a beautiful mandilli di seta adorned with edible begonias. The basil pesto is an elegant creamy-style, unlike its more grainy rustic cousin. The method of plating mandilli di seta is also unique – pasta handkerchiefs are dipped in the pesto, coating the entire noodle with the dreamy sauce, then they are artfully folded onto the plate.
How to Make Creamy-Style Basil Pesto
2 c. basil leaves, tightly packed
½ c. high quality olive oil
¼ c. pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 garlic clove
¼ t. kosher salt or to taste
¼ c. pecorino romano, grated
hot pasta water
Soak basil leaves in cold water for 10 minutes.
Place olive oil, pine nuts, and garlic in a blender and puree until nuts are finely chopped. Add salt. Shake off excess water from basil leaves, still leaving some water clinging to the leaves, add to the blender. Blend until well-combined. Add cheese and pulse briefly. Set aside until the pasta is cooked.
When the pasta has cooked, with the blender running, slowly stream in enough hot pasta water to get a creamy consistency.
How to Cook the Pasta
Place Explore Cuisine green lentil pasta sheets in a large pot of gently boiling salted water with a splash of olive oil. Do not overcrowd and take care to separate the sheets so they do not stick together. In about 6 minutes, they will be al dente. Remove from pot, shaking off excess water. (Remember to reserve some hot pasta water for the pesto).
How to Plate the Pasta
A warmed-up flat shallow pan works perfectly for coating the pasta rectangles. Pour the pesto from the blender into the pan. One at a time, dip the warm pasta sheets into the sauce, coating both sides, then fold onto the plate. Repeat with 2 more rectangles.
Sprinkle Pecorino Romano around the perimeter of the pasta. Garnish with edible begonia and small basil leaves.
Food Network featuring Basil
#SummerSoiree is a season long franchise where Food Network editors team up with bloggers to share recipes about everyone’s favorite SUMMERTIME ingredients. This week, it’s BASIL.
Get inspiration from our very popular Pinterest Board with over 500,000 followers called Let’s Pull Up A Chair here. And if you’re looking for some creative BASIL recipes, please visit my friends below.
Devour: Pesto, Change-o: 6 Recipes to Use Up Leftover Basil
Feed Me Phoebe: Brazilian-Style Moqueca Fish Packets with Coconut Milk, Tomatoes and Herbs
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Peach & Basil Panzanella
The Lemon Bowl: Thai Basil Shrimp
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Basil Seeds Limeade
Creative Culinary: Ricotta, Lemon and Basil Pasta Salad
TasteBook: Frozen Basil Daiquiri
Healthy Eats: 7 Summer Dishes That Aren’t Complete Without Basil
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Fingerling Potatoes & Tomatoes with Basil
The Mom 100: Shrimp and Corn Salad with Basil Dressing
Swing Eats: Gluten-Free Gnocchi With Tomato Sauce And Basil
Taste with the Eyes: Mandilli di Seta al Pesto (Handkerchief Pasta) #glutenfree
FN Dish: 7 Ways to Take Fresh Basil Beyond Pesto
And be sure to try FRIED BASIL with those fabulous green lentil noodles:
Gluten-Free Summer Squash Lasagna with Fried Basil, recipe here.