Trenette with pesto


  • Serves 6 people

  • 300 gm green beans, trimmed
  • 1 large waxy potato (such as Desiree), peeled and diced
  • 400 gm dried trenette (see note)
  • 40 basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 50 gm (1/3 cup) pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp finely grated parmesan
  • 1 tbsp finely grated Pecorino Sardo
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp butter
01   Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add beans and potatoes and return to the boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente.
02   Meanwhile, carefully wash basil leaves and pat dry. Place garlic and a pinch of sea salt in a mortar and, using a pestle, crush to a paste, add basil and continue pounding, then add pine nuts and cheeses and pound to a smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl and stir through olive oil. If using a blender, pulse all ingredients on lowest speed until pesto is creamy.
03   Drain pasta, beans and potatoes, reserving some of the cooking water. Place pesto into a large mixing bowl and combine with pasta, 2 tbsp reserved cooking water, beans, potatoes and butter. The sauce is used only ‘a crudo’, that is, not cooked, so when adding to pasta it must be mixed off the heat. Serve immediately.

Note Trenette is a narrow, flat pasta, thicker than linguine, that is traditionally served with pesto.

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