This one-pot pesto pasta Liguria with potatoes & green beans is simple, nutritious and delicious. A firm favourite for family meals or entertaining friends!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR THE PESTO:
- Four handfuls of fresh basil leaves (preferably young leaves of medium size)
- 30g toasted pine nuts
- 1-2 peeled garlic cloves
- Coarse sea salt for pasta cooking and to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil or aquafaba (the water chickpeas come in)
WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR THE PASTA:
- 320g courgetti, trofie or trenette pasta
- 120g fresh green beans
- 120g potatoes (use red or new potatoes for this)
- Rinse the leaves under water and dry them with paper towels.
- Dry fry the pine nuts for 2-3 minutes (if preferred toasted) and set to one side.
- Peel the garlic cloves and add to a blending container with the pine nuts.
- Blitz both until you have a paste before adding some basil leaves, a little coarse salt and 3 tbsp. of olive oil or aquafaba.
- Keep blitzing in short bursts as you continue to add more basil leaves and olive oil until the pesto is smooth, consistent and all ingredients have been combined successfully.
(Beware not to blitz for too long at any one time, or the heat of the machine will spoil the basil!).
- Wash the vegetables, top & tail the green beans and cut them into inch long pieces. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1.5cm cubes. Set aside.
- Fill a large pot with water, bring to the boil and add sea salt.
- Boil the vegetables in the water before draining (keep water).
- Boil the pasta in the vegetable water till “al-dente” (cooked to be firm to the bite) and keep a small cup of the cooking water.
- Mix the pesto, potatoes and green beans in the pan over a low heat for a minute before adding the drained pasta and a teaspoon of the pasta water.
- Mix everything together with care before serving with a grated cheese of your choice and some more toasted pine nuts if desired.
- Whether you cook the pasta, potatoes and green beans together depends on personal choice. However, if using fresh pasta this needs to be cooked alone or added only 2-3 minutes before the beans and potatoes are ready.
- Including a tbsp. of the pasta water in the sauce before mixing ingredients together is an Italian method used to bind and help the flavours absorb fully.
Basil can help to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and contains magnesium which can help to improve blood flow by helping muscles and blood vessels to relax.