With this recipe, I broke all records for title length … in fact, I could only put a "Viendalmare" (in Eglish, literally, "Comesfromthesea": in Italian, it's a fake aristocratic and pompous surname, famous for the movie "Fantozzi") at the end of it, in loving memory of Fantozzi!

But in this case I couldn't shorten anything, for the sake of completeness. And so, adding syllables and syllables, I came up with the long -but very complete -"Cous cous shapes with Genoese pesto, zucchini and pine nuts on Taleggio cheese sauce". If you have read so far, you've already done half the work: now it's all downhill.

First of all, it must be said that this recipe is not mine (too many combination to be a figment of my simple mind), but it came from Giallo Zafferano (I made just ​​a few changes here and there); my mom discovered it and, even if I don't know what she was looking for, she fell in love with it … and so we got here. The singles procedures to make this cold cous cous are not complex, but you need a little time to prepare everything and assemble the dish: and, let's admit it, it looks -and tastes- great.

The result is a dish of simple and full flavors, that match perfectly with each other: every single part of this dish could be eaten alone and be good, but the forkful that collects everything is the tastier.


Ingredients (4 servings)

For cous cous

* 320 g cous cous (I used the fine one)

* 150 g Genoese pesto (I made it with fresh basil from my garden: I finely chopped 50 g of basil, 20 g of pine nuts and I added 2 tablespoons of grated Parmigiano Reggiano, salt and about 100 g of extra-virgin olive oil. I didn't put any garlic, but the original recipe requires it -1 or 2 cloves, chopped together with basil and pine nuts-, together with some grated Pecorino cheese. I leave here this little recipe, so that you could decide if you prefer making your own pesto or using the already made one)

* extra-virgin olive oil (if necessary)

For zucchini and pine nuts

* extra-virgin olive oil

* a clove of garlic

* 2 zucchine trombetta ( you could use "plain" zucchini)

* 20 g pine nuts

For Taleggio cheese sauce

* 200 g Taleggio cheese

* 100 g grated Parmigiano Reggiano (in my opinion, with this dose the sauce tasted too much of Parmigiano; I'd reduce the dose to 50 g)

* 250 ml milk (I'd reduce this dose to 200 ml, 'cause the sauce was too liquid. Using 250 ml I had to add 2 tablespoons of flour to thicken the sauce)

* ground black pepper


First of all, prepare the cous cous according to the instructions behind the box, which usually say: bring to a boil a volume of water equal to the volume of the cous cous (calculate it in glasses or with a graduated glass, as you prefer), adding to the water salt and two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. When the water boils, turn off the heat, pour the cous cous into the water, stir, cover with a lid and set aside for 5 minutes. Then remove the lid and coarse cous cous with a fork. Put the cous cous in a bowl, let it cool down and then season it with Genoese pesto. Put the bowl in the refrigerator so that cous cous cool completely.

Wash and clean zucchini, cut the tips and then dice them. In a pan put a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil to heat and then sauté the garlic. Toast pine nuts for a couple of minutes and then add the diced zucchini. Season with salt and cook zucchini until they're soft. Set aside to cool down.

Put in a thick-bottomed saucepan milk, chopped Taleggio and grated Parmigiano and cook for about 10 minutes, or until you've got a cream (when Taleggio is melted, check the consistency of the sauce: if it's too liquid, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of flour and let it thicken, cooking for about 5 minutes). Turn off the heat, add some ground black pepper and leave it to cool down, stirring occasionally.

When all your ingredients are cold, or at least warm (the cous cous will be surely cold), you can form your cous cous shapes. Start by making a "bed" of Taleggio sauce on the bottom of every dish, then fill a pudding mold (or other small shape you like) with pesto cous cous (press it well, so that it holds the shape) and then turn it upside down on the Taleggio sauce. Over and around the cous cous put diced zucchini and pine nuts and use the rest of the Taleggio sauce to garnish the dish. Garnish with some fresh basil leaves, too.

You have to be a little patient to prepare all the ingredients and then to assemble the dish, but the recipe is very easy to make and the result is sensational both for the eyes and for the palate.

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