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Linguine with red pesto, Ulysses & the Pillars of Hercules

linguini with red pesto sundried tomatoesRed pesto or red passion? I have already talked about my tomatoes addiction and here is another recipe that combines my beloved pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, an ingredient that is very typical in all the Mediterranean Sea. If you take a map you can easily understand why all the countries bordering this sea have so many things in common: it seems so small, doesn’t it? But there was a time, hundreds of years ago, when this pond was as big as the entire world. His waters were perilous and the Phoenicians, the Greeks and the Romans plied this sea asking themselves if they would return. Few of them tried to cross the Pillars of Hercules (geographically speaking that means cross the strait of Gibraltar, leaving the Mediterranean Sea and entering the Atlantic Ocean).

This is the sea were Ulysses spent more than 10 years travelling and struggling against his fate and the hatred of Poseidon, the god of the sea. For a long time Ulysses myth and the Mediterranean Sea fascinated European literature, from Dante Alighieri to Tennyson till James Joyce. Ulysses became the symbol of all men, the Mediterranean Sea the metaphor of life and the Pillars of Hercules the limit of knowledge: as Tennyson’s Ulysses said “made weak by time and fate, but strong in will, to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” So here we are, day after day, trying to find our way in the waters of our life, struggling to cross our personal Pillars of Hercules and be better people. Luckily often we are blessed enough to make this travel with special people like family and friends and, as we navigate and strive, we have also the time to have a seat and enjoy a good pasta dish….. buon appetito!

linguini with red pesto sundried tomatoes


– 1 glove of garlic

– few basil leaves

– 150 g of sun-dried tomatoes (under olive oil)

– 1 teaspoon of capers

– 25 g of parmesan cheese (grated)

– 25 g of pecorino cheese (grated)

– 50 g of pine nuts

– half a glass of extra virgin olive oil

– salt

– 400 g of linguine

Put all the ingredients (unless olive oil that you will add gradually) in a mixer and mix at moderate speed till get a omogeneous compound. Cook the linguine in salt boiling water and conserve 1 or 2 ladles of this water. Drain and season with the red pesto adding the hot water, toss well add, if you like it, more cheese and… enjoy it!

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Bentornata! Mi è piaciuto molto il percorso immaginario che hai fatto dalla cucina mediterranea ad Ulisse!
    Mi sono persa il tuo post precedente che vado a leggere immediatamente…
    p.s. personalmente preferisco tenere separato il pesto dal pomodoro, chissà perchè: la loro combinazione è oggettivamente un sogno!

    21 August 2012
    • Cavolo Elena, grazie! I tuoi commenti sono un toccasana x la mia autostima 😉

      22 August 2012
  2. Beautifully woven story…..and great metaphor. Loved the post.

    22 August 2012

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