June 03, 2015
Scotto Family Shares ‘La Familia’ Entertaining Tips and Recipes
New York's famed Scotto family got “Extra” in the “mood to mangia” with their family-favorite recipe of fusilli with basil pesto, and a cool summer salad of watermelon and red onion.
Rosanna, Anthony, Marion and Elaina Scotto shared the recipes below, and two family tips for entertaining, “one, use the freshest ingredients, and two… get out of the kitchen!”
If you can't make your way to the family's New York restaurant, Fresco by Scotto, you can recreate these delicious dishes at home.
Fusilli with Basil Pesto
For the basil pesto: (makes about 4 cups)
· 1/2 cup pine nuts
· 4 cups basil leaves, washed and dried in a salad spinner
· 3 cloves garlic, crushed
· Juice of 1/2 lemon
· 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
· 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
· Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Calabresi Fusilli:
· 1/2 pound string beans, cut in half
· 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, diced small
· 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
· 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
· 1/2 tablespoon julienned shallots
· 2 pounds uncooked fresh fettuccine
· Freshly ground black pepper
· 1 cup of cherry tomatoes cut in half
To Make The Basil Pesto:
1. In a hot sauté pan, toss the pine nuts for 2 minutes or until golden. Remove the pine nuts from the heat and set aside
2. Place the basil, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor and process until well combined. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil. Add the pine nuts and Parmesan and process briefly to retain some texture in the pesto.
3. Season with salt and pepper to taste
To Make The Calabresi Fusilli:
4. Place the string beans and potatoes in boiling water for 1 minute. Place them in a cool bath, then carefully remove them with a slotted spoon. Drain and let cool on a paper towel.
5. In a large pan, heat the oil and sauté the garlic and shallots over medium to high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown. Add the string beans and potatoes and sauté for 1 minute, or until warmed through.
6. In a large pot of lightly salted boiling water, cook the fusilli for 3 minutes or until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauté pan with the string beans and potatoes.
7. Simmer for about 2 minutes over medium heat, then add 1/3 cup of the basil pesto and toss. Make sure there is pesto throughout the dish. Season with salt and pepper to taste, garnish with cherry tomatoes.
Watermelon and Red Onion Salad with Watercress and Muscat Vinaigrette
· 3 bunches watercress
· 2 red onions, sliced paper thin
· 1/4 cup Muscat or white balsamic vinegar
· Salt and cracked black pepper
· 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
· 5 cups seedless or seeded red and yellow watermelon
1. Trim the stems of the watercress. Rinse the watercress and dry it thoroughly. Keep the watercress chilled until you are ready to assemble the salad.
2. Place the sliced onions in ice water and soak them for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour; overnight is even better.
3. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in the olive oil.
4. Place the watermelon, watercress and red onion in the large bowl and dress with the vinaigrette. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Place the salad on plates or a large platter.
Note: The colder all the ingredients are the better. Watermelon is always best ice cold.