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Tri-colored fusilli pasta with sundried tomato and olive pesto

  • Type: Main Course
  • Difficulty: Low
  • Time: 20'
  • Serves: 4
Tri-colored fusilli pasta with sundried tomato and olive pesto
At this time of the year, Greek villagers take advantage of Greece’s brilliant sunlight and hot, dry climate to dry out their homemade pasta. Most popular are the egg noodles, rolled out and cut by hand, but there are a number of small local workshops that produce other shapes and flavors of pasta as well. They take the regular pasta dough and enrich it with the addition of vegetable purees such as carrot, spinach, tomato and even beetroot to add both color and flavor. This recipe calls for a piquant pesto of sundried tomatoes, olives and herbs to be mixed with our pasta, which is made in the mountainous Lakonia, at the local workshop of Panagiotis and Stavroula.

Main ingredient

Pasta

Region Of Origin

Lakonia, Peloponnese

Ingredients

  • 500 gr tri-colored fusilli pasta
  • 250 gr sundried tomatoes in oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 100 gr black olives, pitted
  • A few basil leaves
  • Pepper
  • ½ cup grated kefalotiri or mizithra (hard cheese)

Instructions

  1. Boil pasta in ample water with salt for about 8 minutes until al dente and drain putting aside about ½ cup liquid. Place in a large mixing bowl and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well and set aside.
  2. To make pesto, place remaining ingredients, except grated cheese, in the blender and pulse until mixture is just blended (not smooth). Add cheese and blend.
  3. Add pesto to fusilli and toss until pesto is incorporated well. Slowly add just enough of the saved pasta liquid until the mixture is rather wet, but not watery.
  4. Serve pasta accompanied by a refreshing summer salad.

The Chef

From the kitchen of Georgia Kofinas, Food writer and Culinary Arts instructor; Head of Mediterranean Cuisine at Alpine Center.

The opinion of the Nutritionist

Pasta is an excellent, light choice for starch, which, in combination with protein-rich addition (cheese, tuna, shrimps, mince meat) gives a full meal. Pasta, if cooked medium (al dente), are a source of low glycaemic index and thus are not a particularly burdensome for weight and blood glucose levels. The sundried tomatoes are a rich source of antioxidant ingredients, while olives are a valuable source of monounsaturated fatty acids. The only addition that requires attention in the recipe is cheese, whose choice depends on how we want to burden or lighten the dish. A kefalotyri is suggested, which is a fat-rich cheese for pasta, or myzithra, which varies in fat and addressed to individuals wishing a more “light” cheese.

Charis Dimosthenopoulos, MMedSci.SRD
Head of Nutrition Dept, Laiko Hospital of Athens
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Ελληνικά (GR)English (UK)