The potatoes serve to soak up the driblets of oil from the pesto while the beans add a delightful crunch and a counterpoint of sweetness.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
for the pesto:
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled
kosher salt, to taste
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
for the pasta:
6 new potatoes or small red potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 8 ounces)
1 pound Trenette pasta
5 ounces trimmed young green beans or haricots verts
1 cup Pesto Genovese
Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, for serving
1. Make the pesto: Combine the pine nuts, basil, garlic, and salt in a large stone mortar and grind with the pestle until the moisture forms a paste. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, beating all the while with a wooden spoon. Add the Parmigiano, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until the mixture forms a thick paste. The pesto can also be made in a food processor. The pesto can be stored in a jar, topped with a thin layer of extra-virgin olive oil, for several weeks in the refrigerator.
2. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 2 tablespoons salt. Add the potatoes and cook 1 minute, then add the pasta and cook until 4 minutes left of the prescribed cooking time to al dente and add the beans; cook the remaining 3 minutes and drain everything together in a colander.
3. Pour the pasta, beans and potatoes into a warmed bowl, add the pesto, and toss to coat the pasta and the vegetables well. Add Parmigiano to taste and serve with more grated Parmigiano on the side.