Thursday, 2 April 2009

Pesto, pasta and potatoes!?

It was warm and sunny yesterday. Spring has been forcing it's way out. Our sidewalks are covered in a confetti of tree blossoms. And one of the many cravings consuming me lately has been for a proper taste of summer in the form of fresh pesto.

Usually i make pesto in my trusted Magimix. But last night i opted for more rustic approach and decided to make it in my pestle and mortar. The result last night was a chunky, oozy pesto that filled the house with gorgeous smells. and it really wasn't that much more work. I opted for a 'traditional' way of serving it with pasta, boiled potato and green beans. On confering with my Italian teammates Roberto and Massimo at work today, neither had heard of mixing potato with pasta. Nevertheless the smell and taste met with Roberto's approval.

Pesto, potatoes, green beans and pasta
Serves 4

125g pinenuts, lightly toasted
4-6 cloves garlic chopped
large bunch of fresh basil, about 50g, leaves roughly torn
1 tsp salt
50 g parmesan, freshly grated
50 g pecorino, freshly grated
150 ml extra virgin olive oil
350 g pasta, preferrably trenette (i used spaghetti)
8 new potatoes, halved
handful green beans, topped and tailed

  1. Put the pinenuts, garlic, salt and basil in a mortar and pound into a pasty pulp.

  2. Slowly add half the olive oil and half the cheese, stirring all the time. Keep stirring and add the rest of the oil and cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning.

  3. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add the potatoes and let cook for about 5 minutes. Add the pasta and let cook for another 8-10 minutes until almost al dente. Add the beans and cook for another couple of minutes.

  4. Drain, and stir in the pesto. eat and enjoy!

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