Recipe adapted from “Entre cuisine et quincaillerie” from Québec chef Stefano Faita
Published in 2007
The book is sold out but, according to a Québec bookstore, it may be in reprint.
If I told you that, of all the Quebec cookbooks in my library, the one I’ve cooked from the most is Stefano Faita’s?
Taste is a matter of…taste. Duh. Long version: We all tend towards one type of cuisine or taste profile. I must confess that I am generally indifferent to cream sauces, fried foods, and even dessert. When I flip through a cookbook for the first time, I tend to fixate on recipes using seafood, lamb, tomato, lemon, fresh herbs, cheese, pasta and rice. Needless to say, I have a thing for Italian cuisine as a result (plus I have a picky eater who, like most kids, adores his pasta).
On the French side of this blog, I have written a quick review of this cookbook. Story goes that Stefano Faita actually wrote the book in English, then had it translated into French for the Québécois market where he is a TV star. The original English version has been in limbo (?) ever since, which is unfortunate for readers in the rest of Canada because this is quite a solid effort. If you read French and are interested in learning more, just visit the French blog.
In the next few days, I will post a few more of Faita’s recipes. But I actually wrote last year about another family favourite which I can’t recommend highly enough: the Scottiglia here. In the dead of winter, it’s true comfort in a bowl.
Sundried tomato and roast garlic pesto
Note: I cook this pesto often at my family’s request. Sometimes I don’t roast the pine nuts, or I skip the parsley, or I add Parmesan directly into the pesto. When I don’t have chives, which is most times, I simply use green onions. So feel free to improvise.
• 1 whole head of garlic
• 250 ml (1 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
• 200 g (7 oz) sundried tomatoes (the book doesn’t say, I use tomatoes in oil)
• 1 handful of flat parsley
• 30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped chives
• 30 ml (2 tbsp) pine nuts
• sea salt, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F).
2. Cut off and discard the top of the garlic head, then wrap bulb in aluminum paper. Sprinkle with a little olive oil and sea salt. Roast in oven 45 minutes, until cloves are brown and soft.
3. Meanwhile, dry-roast the pine nuts in a pan. Transfer to a mortar or mini food processor (like the one shown in pix).
4. Press roasted garlic head to squeeze out cloves and drop in mortar. Add in tomatoes, parsley and chives. Crush coarsely.
5. Mix in olive oil, not too much, true pesto should be somewhat chunky. Set aside 30 minutes to blend flavours.
6. Serve over short pasta such as penne, fusilli or farfalle, generously sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.