Trofie al Pesto Genovese

Trofie al Pesto Genovese

I love this classic way of serving pesto – with the beans and potatoes cooked in the same water as the pasta it’s more like a main meal than an entrée. This is done with various pasta shapes in Liguria, but the most typical are trenette (a thin flat pasta similar to linguine or bavette) and trofie. A traditional Ligurian pasta, trofie are fine little spirals that were originally made with chestnut flour in the dough but are now most often made from pure wheat flour. I love a glass of Gavi di Gavi with it, such as the one from Enrico Serafino just across the border in Piedmont.

Serves 4 as an entrée

Ingredients
  • 150g baby green beans, trimmed
  • 30g cooking salt
  • 150g waxy potato, peeled and diced
  • 200g trofie pasta
  • 25g cold butter, diced
  • Freshly grated parmesan, for serving


Pesto

  • 40 small basil leaves
  • 1 small clove garlic, germ removed
  • Salt flakes, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts, 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated young pecorino Sardo
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
Method
  1. Make Pesto: pulse all ingredients together in a small food processor to form a coarse paste. Set aside.
  2. Cut beans into 2 or 3 slices lengthways, then once across to give thin matchsticks. Set aside.
  3. Bring 3 litres of water to the boil in a saucepan large enough to hold the pasta, potato and beans.
  4. Add salt, potato, beans and trofie and boil, stirring occasionally, for about 12 minutes, until pasta is just al dente.
  5. Meanwhile, put most of the Pesto in a large mixing bowl.
  6. Drain pasta, potato and beans, reserving some of the cooking liquid.
  7. Stir a tablespoon of the cooking liquid into the Pesto.
  8. Add pasta, potatoes, beans and butter and toss gently to combine well without breaking up the potato, adding a little more cooking water to give a creamy consistency.
  9. Divide between pasta bowls, top with remaining Pesto and parmesan and serve immediately.

Like this recipe? You’ll love A Month on the Italian Riviera
Inspired by Lucio Galletto

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