Michael Diacono makes no secret of the fact that he’s not a huge fan of the summer. After spending hours at work in the hot kitchen, the last thing he wants to do is make elaborate meals at home forcing him back into the hot kitchen. This has made him a pro at creating incredibly tasty recipes, using summer ingredients, that can be prepared in no time at all. For the rest of us summer lovers, that just means more time on the beach!

Melted Mozzarella in Baked Lemons

summer recipes

This recipe is popular in Amalfi but works just as well with Maltese lemons. Whether as simple starters or light suppers after a day on the beach, these cheesy lemons are a treat.

Ingredients

  • 5 lemons
  • 10 lemon leafs
  • 1 ball Mozzarella di bufola
  • Cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • Handful capers
  • Handful black olives
  • A few anchovies
  • Thyme
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil

Method

  1. Cut the ends off to tops and bottoms of the lemons so that the lemons can stand.
  2. Cut the lemons in half and remove the pulp with a spoon.
  3. Place a lemon leaf for each lemon half on a baking tray.
  4. Place a cherry tomato slice at the bottom of the lemon.
  5. Place a little mozzarella over the top.
  6. Place two capers, and olive and an anchovy over on the top.
  7. Grind some fresh pepper over the top and drizzle with olive oil.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 20 mins.
  9. Serve with toasted Maltese bread.

Tagliatelle Pesto alla Trapanese

summer recipes

While basil is abundant in the summer, pesto is often on the menu. Try this Sicilian variation of the recipe, originating in Trapani, using fresh local tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 500g tagliatelle
  • 1kg plum tomatoes
  • 2 large handfuls basil
  • 2 handfuls almonds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 200g Pecorino
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Boil the tagliatelle in salted water until al dente.
  2. Pour some boiling water over the tomatoes and leave for 3 mins.
  3. Peel the tomatoes and cut into chunks, removing the seeds.
  4. Place the basil, almonds and garlic and in a food processor and process until smooth.
  5. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper and whizz in the processor again.
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes taking care not to add any extra water from the tomatoes.
  7. Whizz in the food processor until smooth, season and set aside.
  8. Drain the pasta and serve in a large platter topped with pesto Trapanese, some olive oil, fresh pepper and a fresh basil leaf.

2017 – VIDA Magazine – Michael Diacono