Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Cooking shows on PBS

I love a lazy Saturday when I sleep late and get to watch a marathon of cooking shows on my local PBS station (when they are not preempted with some sort of fund raising programming) is a real treat.

12:00 pm Jacques Pepin: More Fast Food My Way
12:30 pm Everyday Food
1:00 pm Mexico - One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless
1:30 pm Avec Eric
2:00 pm Lidia's Italy
2:30 pm Chefs A' Field
3:00 pm America's Test Kitchen from Cook's Illustrated
3:30 pm Cook's Country from America's Test Kitchen

And very inspirational... I always want to cook after I watch them. Today, Lidia's walnut pesto caught my eye.. it was so easy, and I happened to have walnuts in my cupboard. The recipe is below... I didn't quite have enough ricotta, so mine is not as creamy as it should be... but it was still very tasty. It is quite rich and would go nicely with a green salad and a glass of pino grigio.

Lidia's Walnut Pesto ( serves 4)

1 cup walnut halves or pieces, toasted ( you can do this using a dry pan - watch closely!)
1 clove garlic
1 1/4 cups ricotta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated grana padano or Parmesan (optional)

1/2 cup tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper

Put walnuts and garlic in food processor and blend until an even coarse meal ( sort of like bread crumbs). In large bowl mix together the remaining ingredients.

Toss with cooked ( drained) pasta like taglitelle, fettuccine, linguine.

UPDATE - I tried this again making sure I had all the ingredients. I added a bit more ricotta than before and reduced the parmesan ( changes have be made above). This is a very rich pasta, so I would estimate serving less than you usually do. I would also suggest adding some green peas to the pasta just to cut the richness and add some more colour contrast. I also used fresh ( vs. dried) fettuccine this time and preferred the taste.


  1. I get excited when I turn on the tv so I can eat my lunch on Saturday and Rick Bayless' show is on. I so want to go to Mexico because of him and he just has a way of making everything seem so easy. I wish he was my dad!!

  2. I know what you mean... I had never thought of Mexico City as a place to head before I saw this program. I would love to go to one of his parties.