It’s time for the annual U.S. Open Golf Tournament again, when millions of white guys are glued to their televisions, and thousands of white guys line the fairways, to watch a few dozen white guys chase around an even smaller number of little white balls. Clearly, no one should over-think any of this. Golf was invented in Scotland, some 500 years ago, when there was nothing to do. Ironically, what is so appealing about it today, when there is too much to do, is that it provides an organized time to do as little as possible. And on a sunny day of 75 degrees, with low humidity, no mosquitoes, some good friends who don’t count well, a cigar, and a pop or two, it really does make for quite an enjoyable outing.
Still, for my money, the only little white ball that I’m going to obsess about is called a bocconcino. Bocconcini are the golf-ball sized orbs of mozzarella. Ciliegie, on the other hand, are the smaller, cherry-sized balls of mozzarella, which remind me of white marbles, which I’ve always found boring. Of course, I also obsess over larger balls of fresh mozzarella, so long as they are not so wide that they need to be sliced in half in order to fit snuggly over a tomato. And of course, a good braided mozzarella, hard to find these days, is always a winner.
So regardless of the weather, or the company, or how much I have to do, I am always willing to walk a mile for a good bocconcino. This is one little white ball of which I will never tire. As usual, I had a good helping of mozzarella di bufula this week just before my bowl of spaghetti al pesto di peperoni. A combination par excellence.
p.s. Check out our wine pairings for this recipe.
In a large skillet over medium heat add the olive oil, peppers and garlic. Cover and cook for approximately 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the peppers are soft. Remove from heat.
In a food processor, add the almonds and basil with a few drops of olive oil. Blend together. Add the remaining ingredients from the skillet. Blend together until smooth, and then add the cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, stir until it boils again, and cook until al dente (about 1-2 minutes less than the package’s directions). Drain the pasta, retaining some of its cooking liquid. Place the pasta in a larger serving bowl and slowly mix in the pesto sauce, adding some of the pasta water only if mixture appears too dry.