Pestosauce actually originated from Genoa, the capital of Liguria region in Italy. The word pesto is coined from Genovese "pestu" or Italian "pestare" which means to pound or crush with a mortar and pestle.The sauce as you all know includes lots of fresh basil,garlic cloves,pine nuts, etc blended together- preferably in a mortar the true Genovese way and tossed with pasta or veggies. The pasta used is trofie though any tubular pasta works fine.
One of the more famous Ligurian style of pasta is tossing the fresh pesto with cooked pasta,potatoes and green beans. This is what I have tried here with the recipe from Nigella's Kitchen as given in the BBC website. Surprisingly the recipe does not include pine nuts in the recipe-was it a twist by the popular chef or a typo,I am not sure. I had tried this with the leftover pesto I had made and freezed earlier and this one had pine nuts in it. Feel free to make your own version with our without nuts.:)
Penne Pasta:2 cups+
Potatoes: cubed/cut into bite sized pieces
Green beans: chopped into half or smaller pieces.
Water: as needed to cook the pasta and the veggies.
Pesto: quantity as you like
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Salt & Pepper :as per taste
Pesto: Blend all the ingredients together to get a coarse paste as the pesto should not be too smooth.
Pasta: Boil water in a deep vessel adding enough salt. Add the cubed/chopped potatoes and cook till they are tender. Remove from the vessel.Add pasta in the same water and cook till al dente or done .Add the trimmed green beans in the last 4- 5 minutes till they are just cooked.
Drain the water away saving 1 cup or so.Toss the pasta and the beans and potatoes with the pesto adding tablespoonfuls of water if needed to get your consistency. Serve optionally topped with more grated parmesan and pepper and salt.
Simple fuss free pasta with comforting potatoes and crunchy beans with the refreshing pesto.Make sure you do not overcook the beans. The beans take barely 4 minutes of cooking.You can if you want cook the beans and potatoes separately or steam them or use the microwave. This method I have used is a single pot one and so less vessels to clean. :)