If you are reading this blog, it most likely means you have received one of our favourite Ribbon & Wicker hampers "Riviera Ligure", packed with delicious traditional flavours from the Italian region, northwest of Italy.
Liguria is a beautiful Italian costal region nestled between the South of France and Tuscany. It's Mediterranean coastline is know as the Italian Riviera and is home to the renowned sea villages of Portofino and Le Cinque Terre (the five towns), featuring the famous colourful houses resting on rocky waterfronts.
Liguria is also known for it's culinary produce, including Pesto, Focaccia alla Genovese, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Focaccia di Recco al Formaggio IGP, Pansoti alla Salsa di Noci, Basil from Prà (we could go on for a while). Liguria's precious olives and famed basil benefit from the region's unique microclimate, created by the Mediterranean sea and the protection of the Alps north of the area. Although the terrain is mountainous and not particularly malleable, the Genovesi created piane, (big steps) on the mountain facade to create surface on which to farm.
Ribbon & Wicker has brought a piece of sunny Liguria to the UK with our "Riviera Ligure" Hamper and alongside this, we have included below suggestions on how to fully enjoy your gift including the recipe for the traditional Trofie al Pesto.
Our "Riviera Ligure" Hamper includes:
Trofie pasta - Just so Italian (500g)
Pesto Sauce - Just so Italian (180g)
Ciappe with olives - Just so Italian (150g)
Olio Extra Vergine d'Oliva - Just so Italian (150g)
Black olive cream - Just so Italian (180g)
Contesa Pecorino 2019 IGT Colline Pescaresi (white wine)
18 Inch Wicker Hamper Basket
This Ribbon & Wicker hamper gives you everything you need to enjoy the most famous dish from this region, you just have to add green beans, new potatoes and grated Parmigiano or Grana Padano cheese to complete the meal.
First of all, pour yourself a cold glass of Pecorino wine, soft, clean, but persistent palate texture, with a pleasing mineral complexity which will go beautifully with the parmesan in the pesto sauce.
Have a little starter by adding some black olive cream on the olive ciappe (crisp breads).
In the meantime, you can start to prepare the main dish:
Trofie al Pesto con Fagiolini Verdi e Patate
Ingredients and equipment for 4 people:
320g of trofie pasta (about 80g per person)
a handful of rock salt
220g green beans, rinsed, tips cut, and beans cut in half
10 small whole new potatoes, scrubbed, skin on
Freshly grated Parmigiano Regiano or Grana Padano cheese
Pine nuts for serving (if desired)
2 medium-large pans
1 small-medium pan
1 large serving bowl
Put one pan of water to boil, add some rock salt and when the water is boiling add the potatoes. Cook these for about 15-20 mins or until fully cooked but not mushy.
Prepare the beans by washing them, cutting off the tips and then cutting them in half.
Put another pot of water to boil, add some salt and when the water is boiling add the trofie (pasta). Cook for the time stated on the package. You will want these to be cooked al dente which means the pasta will be fully cooked but with a bite.
In the meantime, cook the beans in boiling water for about 5-10 mins or until fully cooked (but with a bite).
When the vegetables are cooked, drain and add to a large serving bowl.
A few minutes before the trofie are ready, save a little of the cooking water in case you need to loosen up the pesto sauce.
When the pasta is ready, drain and add to the serving bowl.
Add enough pesto to cover all the ingredients in the bowl. If the sauce is a little stiff, add a bit of cooking water from the pasta to loosen. Tip: when preparing a sauce for pasta, always keep a ladle of cooking water from the pasta as it contains the natural starches which add creaminess to the sauce.
When everything has been tossed and nicely covered in pesto sauce, serve immediately by adding a sprinkle of cheese, some pine nuts and a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive oil from your hamper.
If you have leftover pesto sauce, you can use this on bruschette as an antipasto, in sandwiches, on salads, in minestrone soup or if you have enough, you can even make a pesto lasagne!
For ideas on how to reuse the items in your hamper, visit our Sustainability page.
We hope you have enjoyed your hamper and your ingredients!
Feel free to share pictures of your gift or dish on social media and make sure to tag us.
All the best,
Ribbon & Wicker Team