Serves 8 (at least)
200g shelled pistachios, 8 cardamom pods, 100g polenta, 1tsp bicarb of soda, 50g butter, 175ml Fino extra virgin olive oil, 3 eggs, 200g caster sugar, 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 175C. Grease a 9" cake tin. Place the pistachios on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 3 mins until slightly shiny and nutty smelling. Remove from the oven and cool. Split the cardamom pods to remove the seeds, and grind the seeds into a powder. Tip the pistachios and the cardamom powder into a blender and blitz but careful not to over whizz as it's good to retain some crunch - mix together the pistachios, polenta and bicarb of soda in a bowl. Gently heat the butter and olive oil in a pan until the butter is melted - leave to cool slightly. In another bowl whisk the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, then slowly stir in the cooled butter and olive oil, followed by the nut and polenta mixture. Then add in the zest and juice of the lemon, pour the mixture into the greased cake tin and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes. Once cooked the cake should be really light and moist - it is delicious served warm with some vanilla ice cream.