Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cooking Italy: Pasta with Pesto, Green Beans and Potatoes

If carbohydrates were indecent, then this dish would be pornographic. Not that I like pron, but this dish is that good.

This is part of my Cooking Italy quest. I've really been enjoying reading Marcella Hazan's book "Essentials of Classical Italian Cooking." I've also been enjoying the camraderie of the group that I'm working with.

And of course - potatoes AND pasta? In one dish? Oh heaven ...

Pasta with Pesto, Green Beans and Potatoes
from "Essentials of Classical Italian Cooking" by Marcella Hazan

2 C. tightly packed fresh picked basil leaves (**I actually found mine at the natural food cooperative since my basil plant still needs to do some growing!)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 T pine nuts (toasted - erm ... I forgot this step ... if I do toast, I usually do it in a dry skillet on medium heat - make sure you watch, otherwise you'll scorch)
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped before processing

Wash basil and dry with paper towels. I used my food processor to incorporate these ingredients. Do the rest by hand and add:

1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
2 T freshly grated romano cheese
3 T butter, softened

(and who am I kidding? My Wisconsin cheese stash is almost nil at this point, so I did buy some of the pre-grated stuff from the grocery store ... sorry friends!)

For Assembly

1 1/2 pounds pasta (I used some whole wheat noodles that I found at the natural food store - they were fabulous!)
3 small new potatoes, boiled in skin, skin removed afterward, thinly sliced (I used Yukon gold ... awesome!)
1/2 pound young green beans, ends snapped, cut half (depending on size)
Save a few tablespoons of pasta water to add into pesto

Toss pesto with cooked pasta, beans, and potatoes. Add in pasta water as needed. Serve immediately. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Deb said...

Alas, I have no food processor. How much pesto out of zee jar would be enough do you think?

Kristen said...

Food "porn" at its finest. I love it!

Anonymous said...

Bravo Shelley! I'm still working up the courage to tackle the potatoes are simmering though, so I think this one's happening! Looks wonderful!

Kayte said...

This looks very good! I would take a plate of this anytime you wanted to serve it up...yep, it was that good! Great job.

Maria Paray said...

Nice Shelley! I used Yukon Golds too - they were nice and sweet and didn't fall apart. My basil isn't up yet, either :-(

Melissa Clifford said...

Looks great Shelley! I'm going to make mine this week. Isn't this fun??!!