Italian chefs around the world and their recipes: Linguine with Trapanese pesto

di corriere canadese del 1 June 2022

SKEGNESS (Inghilterra) - Today we present a recipe by Mimmo Pipitone, Chef from Marsala, Sicily, who has lived and worked in England since 2002, after a long and prestigious career in Italy and various experiences in Switzerland, France, Japan, Turkey and many other countries. He is currently Head Chef at Henry's Restaurant in Skegness. And here is the recipe he offers us!


A typical recipe from Trapani with local ingredients, but failing that, the same ingredients can be used, even if they are not local.
The taste will be different but it tastes good all the same. A poor dish but with an incredible taste, if you want you can add fried eggplant or zucchini.

Ingredients for 4 people:
- 15 very ripe cherry tomatoes
- 10 basil leaves
- 70 gr. blanched almonds
- 50 gr. grated Sicilian pecorino
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 2 cloves of Nubia garlic
- Salt to taste
- To taste you can add pepper or chilli

The Trapani pesto, unlike the basil pesto, can also be made with a mixer, as it does not lose the color of the tomato and basil. It is essential not to blend it for a long time. As for the cherry tomatoes, they can be used both raw and lightly blanched and then peeled, and then blended or pounded with a mortar. I recommend adding the pecorino to the pesto at the end, that is, after having blended it in the mixer. Those who do not like pecorino, being an aged cheese with a very strong flavor, can possibly be replaced with 36 months aged Parmesan. In this dish I used linguine, because I prefer them but you can also use other types of pasta. Buon appetito!

The protagonist / Mimmo, the islander who has traveled the world        

SKEGNESS (England) - Today we present a great Chef, well known internationally, indeed, let's say so, he presents himself by kindly responding to a sort of interview.

' My name at the Registry is Girolamo Pipitone, but everyone knows me as Mimmo, I am from Marsala in Sicily, where I lived until the age of 38, and then moved to England, a country where I still live and work. As a teenager, attracted by this job, at the age of about 12, during the school holidays, I went to work in a pastry shop in my city, specialized in wedding catering. After the lower averages, I firmly wanted to continue in this work, for me now more than a passion, in one of the most famous, at the time, pastry shops in Marsala, the Pasticceria Gasparino. Even there, many catering were done even if much more cared for and of the highest quality, with one of the wealthiest and most important customers in the city".

"Since then this work has become one with passion, even if, at that time, everything could be a little tiring for a boy. From the apprenticeship by cleaning the trays in the oven department, where you learn the basics of pastry, especially through the teachings of the master Innocenzo Passalacqua, which are essential to then move on to the definition of the dessert. Then I went to the finishing department, always from the dessert, with the master pastry chefs and ice cream makers Pino Accardi, Salvatore Nizza and Angelo Agola".

"At 17 I went to work at the restaurant, reception room and resort, Villa Favorita di Pino Valenti with the master chef Gambicchia Vincenzo. After my military service, I began a new and beautiful experience lasting 11 years at the Paradise reception room in Marsala, under the direction of the master chef Tommaso Li Mandri, where I had the opportunity to meet some old friends and colleagues from the Gasparino pastry shop. In particular, the chef and patron Tommaso Li Mandri, who for me, was like a second father. I learned a lot from him, at work but also in the things of life and above all I had the opportunity to improve myself in all sectors, from the oven department to the bread and fresh pasta department, to the wide-ranging kitchen".

"In 2002, after some experiences in Switzerland and France, I moved to England where I live and still work as a head chef at the Henry's restaurant in Skegness".

"For the younger ones I always like to talk about the pros and cons of this work which, despite being one of the most difficult and complicated, remains one of the most beautiful jobs in the world for me and, honestly, I would not change it with anyone else, certainly one of the few that allows you to always experiment with new things, never get bored and that always gives you the opportunity to travel the world both for work commitments and for gastronomic events. Among all I like to remember the participation in a culinary competition in Japan for the 2019 G20: there were 20 chefs from all over the world. But Turkey is also worthy of mention as it has now become my third home and which gives me the opportunity to attend many gastronomic events such as Israel, Korea, Serbia, India and, of course, Italy. I will soon go to Colombia, for cooking classes and also for some cooking shows".

"Moreover, I also hold the position of Intercontinental President of the Club Mundo Culinary, close to launching an online digital platform, which will give many chefs the opportunity to publish their typical dishes with the recipes and the related videos. I also had the high honor of being awarded by the Sicily Region, on the occasion of the Milan Expo, as ambassador of Sicilian cuisine in the world, by the Professional Association of Italian Chefs in 2001, as a master of cooking and by the World Master Chef Society English, of the diploma in Culinary Excellence in addition to the Master Chef certificate".

"After the pros, the cons come, and, starting from the assumption that unfortunately all light is not gold, as in all beautiful things, there are also the less beautiful ones: the work of a chef is not easy because it takes away most of your life, your affections, the possibility of seeing your children grow up, of being able to celebrate their birthdays, anniversaries and commanded holidays. There are no free weekends, it is the days that you work more, there are no parties such as Christmas, New Year and Easter, and often, indeed almost always, there are no summer holidays especially if you work in a place on the sea because it counts on summer tourism".

Finally, 'What would I recommend to a student?'. First of all to always be modest and not to get your head up, because you never stop learning and then not watching too many cooking programs on TV that give a false image of what is the reality of a cook's work. If you decide to do it, you must do it with love and passion, accepting above all all the cons and, more, to have a lot of patience, the only virtue that with time, the passing of the years and the experience, causes the desired results to arrive".

"Then, 'What is my strong point in catering?'. Honestly, I must say, that there is neither a strong point nor a weak one, I cannot afford it, we cannot afford it, you must always be 100% concentrated. And there are no dishes that are better or worse. When creating a dish, before introducing it to the customer, it must be tried and tried again, it must also be tasted several times and not only by the chef and, only after reaching perfection, can it be presented".

In the pics above, a photogallery with Mimmo Pipitone and, at the top, his Linguine with trapanese pesto

(rubrica a cura di... Marzio Pelù & Ynot)


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