Tuesday, 21 August 2012


Fish market at Ortygia, Sicily

So many holiday drinks or foods just don’t taste the same when you get them home.

That bottle of the local speciality that tasted amazing on those hot evenings but tastes like jiff when you try it at home.

Thankfully the Sicilian diet, with its combination of nuts, fruit, vegetables and fresh sea food, is so delicious and fresh that it works really well back here in England.

It is also perfect for the vegetarian as it offers such a good balance of nutrients.


On a hot day in Ortygia recently, having spent the morning looking at the Greek Amphitheatre at Syracuse, we stopped at a small fish restaurant where we had a range of delicious seafood.

Fresh seafood salad

One of the dishes we all adored was the prawn and pistachio pasta. It was simple yet tasty and one I decided I had to recreate.

Back at home, after a couple of attempts, I came up with this recipe below.

The key is to add the crushed nuts to the oil as it warms slowly allowing the pistachio flavour to infuse. The first time I tried it I didn’t do this and just added them at the end but we lost the subtlety of the flavours.

So if you want an easy, delicious healthy dish..try this.

It is as good here as it was under the scorching Sicilian sun.

Prawn and pistachio spaghetti


Serves 6
Preparation time 3 minutes


50g shelled pistachios crushed
2 packets of small cooked peeled prawns about 350g
Large Splash of olive oil
Handful of basil leaves ripped up
Small jar of  Pesto Genovese approx 180g
2 medium sized tomatoes chopped
Juice of half a lemon

Quick cook spaghetti..the sauce takes 3 minutes so you need to have your spaghetti almost ready when you start!!


1.     Put on the water for the spaghetti and crush the pistachio nuts loosely
2.     Put the olive oil in large saucepan add half the crushed nuts and warm the oil very slowly
3.     When it is hot add the pesto and chopped tomatoes and stir for a couple of minutes and stir on the lemon juice
4.     When the spaghetti is done drain and leave to the side.
5.     Add the prawns to the pesto oil and stir in well for one minute then addthe spaghetti and stir in well.
6.     Put all in a bowl sprinkle with the remaining nuts and torn basil leaves

Market Palermo, Sicily

Boxes of basil, Palermo

Tastes of summer.


  1. Wow!
    You made making PRAWN AND PISTACHIO SPAGHETTI seem so simple!
    Would you join us in our food community www.mycookbook.com and let us know how you worked on the PRAWN AND PISTACHIO SPAGHETTI perfectly ?

    1. Hi Hillary
      I'm so pleased you like the recipe. Yes it is simple but SO tasty...I love giving the flavours space. Do tell me more about your food community it looks really interesting.

  2. I went shopping in the market today at Ortygia in Sicily and bought chopped pistachios. I asked the man what to cook with them. He said pasta with prawns so I google a recipe and yours came up!! It was meant to be! I will do it tonight. Looks delicious.

    1. Hi Jane. I hope you enjoyed the pasta with prawns and pistachios, everyone who I have cooked it for has raved and it is an easy version to make. In fact we are having it for supper tonight. I was back in Ortygia a few weeks ago. We probably passed each other in the market! Don't you just love all that fish.