Go Green… with this traditional Ligurian pesto pasta recipe

STEPS 5 INGREDIENTS 9 TIME 25 MINS

It doesn’t get much fresher than this basil and bean-touting pesto pasta recipe. Coming at you direct from Liguria in the North-West of Italy, this basil beast is crunchy-to-munch and truly aromatic.

This pesto pasta recipe takes the pesto sauce ingredients of basil, pine nut and a touch of garlic, and combines this ever so crunchy covering with trofie or linguine pasta.

penne_pasta_recipe

It then fills in any hunger gaps by adding soft potato chunks and super-crunchy green beans.

Mmm… this one makes my mouth water just writing about it.

Serves 2 (or 4 if using this dish as an Italian style pasta starter)

Ingredients: (For a printable PDF shopping list click here, or right-click this link and choose 'Save target/link as' to save the list for later.)

200g/7oz of trofie or linguine pasta

pasta recipe book pasta cookbook50g/1.8oz fresh basil leaves

1 small clove of garlic

2 small potatoes (25g/0.9oz)

100g/3.5oz green beans

1 tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon of pine seeds

Salt

Extra virgin olive oil

Equipment

Mixing bowl

Large pan/skillet

Small pan/skillet

Handheld electric mixer (this one rocks) or marble pestle and mortar (I recommend this )

Colander/sieve

Potato peeler

green_pesto_pasta

STEP 1 - As ever, preparation first.

- Peel the potatoes and chop them into small 1cm cubes.

- Wash the beans and chop off their ends.

- Chop off the ends of the garlic clove, peel it, and chop it as finely as you can.

- Remove the basil stalks, then wash and tear the leaves.

- Grate the parmesan cheese.

STEP 2 - Boil up two pans of water on the hob (one small pan, one big).

- Dissolve a teaspoon of salt into the small pan, and a handful of salt in the large. Set the large pan to simmer.

- Now throw the potato chunks into the small pan.

- After 5 minutes of these boiling away, set your timer for another 5 minutes and add the green beans (these take just 5 minutes to the potatoes' 10).

STEP 3 - Now let’s learn how to make pesto!~

How you handle the ingredients here depends on whether you are mixing them with an electric mixer , or manually with pestle and mortar ...

If using a blender/mixer: throw the pine nuts, garlic, basil leaves, parmesan and a small glug of olive oil (2 tablespoons worth) into the blender and whiz it all for no more than 30 seconds – Italian pesto shouldn't be super-smooth.

pesto pestle and mortar

If using a pestle & mortar: pop in the garlic and the pine seeds, then add a handful of the basil leaves and work into a rough paste. Keep gradually adding basil leaves and when necessary add a tablespoon of olive oil (you shouldn’t need more than three in total to keep things moist enough). Add the parmesan towards the end of this calorie-burning pestle session.

Note: remember to take the pan of vegetables off the heat if their time is up. The potatoes should be soft all the way through, the beans crunchy.

STEP 4 - Turn up the big pan of water and fling in your pasta (check its cooking time on the packet).

- While it cooks, spread pesto around your mixing bowl.

- When ready, drain the potatoes and beans, and add these to the mixing bowl.

STEP 5 - When the pasta is ready, drain this and pop it in the mixing bowl. Also add in there two tablespoons of the ‘starchy’ pasta water.

- Stir gently but thoroughly, so that all the ingredients are mixed and green.

Done!

Sit down, grab a glass of something delightful, and get busy enjoying this gloriously green and crunchy munch. If you have any thoughts on this pesto pasta recipe, please do let me know.

pesto_pasta_recipe2



Check out more Northern Italian pasta recipes here.

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