When I visit other countries, I like to stick to the local cuisine. I just get a bit skeptical of, say, Italian food, in Mexico. Why? I don’t know. At home, I’ll eat anything… without a drop of skepticism.
Well, a random Monday evening in Cabo erased any skepticism. Alex was in “dire need” of a pizza, and so we found this little joint called the Italian Job on Yelp (best invention ever BTW). After we ordered beer, cocktails, and the obligatory pizza, the most unusual thing happened. A delightful little amuse bouche showed up in front of us. A light little bruschetta with perfectly ripe tomatoes. Next a hand crafted Caesar salad. Then the pizza arrived fresh from the wood fired oven. Super thin, super crisp, totally delicious. On the table was an unassuming squeeze bottle with an intriguing green sauce inside. We proceeded to drizzle the mystery sauce on our pizzas and were rewarded with a pleasantly spicy herbaceous surprise. A spicy pesto, made with basil, peppers and a “secret” ingredient. The waitress hinted that habanero was in the mix. The meal ended with another surprise. A homemade limoncello in a tiny “Cabo” shot glass. The owner Fabrizio came out to the tables to check on how we enjoyed our meal and we gushed with praise. He proudly showed us his jug of limoncello to be, and also shared the mystery sauce with us, giving each couple a jar to take home.
Just like the classic movie to steal a shipment of gold, it will be my task to unravel the mystery of that sauce. It’s my own Italian Job. Mine will be sans habanero, because that’s another thing I’m skeptical of. Despite this, I’m sure I’ve captured a bit of that treasure here.
The Italian Job Spicy Pesto
- 2 Jalapeno’s, roughly chopped, with seeds
- 5 garlic cloves
- 2 c fresh basil
- 1 c arugula
- 1/4 c pine nuts
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 c olive oil
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until finely ground.