Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Double Helping of Mutual Respect

Bear with me on this slight diversion from my usual anecdotes but it seems almost impossible to post a pasta recipe without mentioning the boycott of Barilla products following the homophobic comments of CEO Guido Barilla.

I spent a lot of the weekend following the story on social media and deciding whether I would or should comment on the incident. Would I have anything constructive to add to the discussion or would it just fuel the flames that have kept the issue at a rolling boil. (I promise that is my only pasta pun)

For me this issue goes deeper than the usual cries for tolerance, that is not the standard we should strive for. Tolerance refers to something unpleasant that you just have to put up with, and I believe nobody should be just tolerated.

The goal is acceptance.

To achieve this goal of acceptance we must recognise the diversity and validity of all people and in doing so we must recognise everyone's opinion with neither side being the victor.

I respect Guido Barilla's right to hold the opinions that he does but that respect also gives me the right to strongly disagree. It doesn't mean that one opinion is right and the other wrong, just that two different opinions exist.

Yes, I found him publicly communicating this opinion baffling especially from someone holding such a position of success but if I just wrote about all the reasons why I think he is wrong how does that demonstrate an environment of acceptance.

With the changes to the laws in Russia, and the Gambian President's recent address to the United Nations, I understand that many people don't approve of homosexuality but I also don't believe their approval is needed.

Too many young lives have been lost because we have not reached the point of acceptance of each person regardless of their difference to ourselves.*

As the old saying goes, let's agree to disagree.

I am not participating in the boycott of Barilla products mainly because I never really purchased them previously.

Pesto in a jar seems totally unnatural and I may even go so far as to say an abomination but I believe everyone has the right to do and be as they see fit, they don't need my approval.

Pistachio and Preserved Lemon Pesto
  • Large bunch of basil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 85g toasted pistachios
  • 100g parmesan
  • 1/2 preserved lemon (see note)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Good pinch of sea salt flakes
  • 500g penne or pasta of your choice
  • Cook pasta as directed on packet
  • Add garlic, pistachios, parmesan, lemon the bowl of a food processor
  • Add any larger but not woody stems of the basil
  • Add 1/2 the oil and process for about 20 seconds
  • Add the basil, salt and remaining oil
  • Process till your preferred consistency, chunky or smooth
  • Stir through hot pasta
  • Can be used on bruschetta or risotto, anywhere a nice hit of basil is welcomed
  • It can also be made in a mortar and pestle for a more traditional approach

My preserved lemon's very plain with no other added spices, just the lemons, rock salt and boiled water.
I use small jars now as I found making a huge jar by the time I used all the lemons the last ones weren't looking their best.
To make them, quarter the lemon and stuff it into a jar with enough rock salt to fill up the gaps. Fill the jar with just boiled water a little at a time so that the jar can handle the heat. Ensure the lemons are covered and store in a cool dark spot for about 4 weeks. Using lemon juice instead of water will speed up the process. So easy and much cheaper and nicer than the shop bought variety.

*"Lifeline provides all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to online, phone and face-to-face crisis support and suicide prevention services."


  1. Hear hear!!! Preserved lemons, hey! grin....
    Agree about pesto...why would you buy it? bottled stuff is disgusting and just wrong. Just made coriander and pecan pesto....yum!!! Miss you heaps! Xxx

    1. Thanks Annie, that coriander and pecan combo sound the bomb! I may be so bold as to add a chilli.....miss you too love, always room at my table xx