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    Trenette col Pesto

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    Trenette col Pesto

    Cooking pasta with green beans is traditional in Liguria, either to make the pasta go further or simply to balance the pungency of pesto. 'Trenette' is the Genoese name for linguine.

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 15 minutes
    • Total time: 30 minutes 30 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • 200g thin green beans, trimmed
    • 225g small potatoes, peeled and cut into slices about 1cm thick
    • 450g trenette, linguine or tagliatelle
    • Pesto
    • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    • Pine nuts
    • Coarse salt
    • Large handful basil, leaves only
    • 100g grated Parmesan
    • Extra virgin olive oil


    1. First make the pesto. Put the garlic, pine nuts and a pinch of salt in a large mortar, and crush with a pestle, using smooth, regular motions, to make a smooth paste. Add the basil to the mortar a little at a time and crush to a coarse paste, grinding the leaves against the side with the pestle. Add a pinch more salt and continue crushing, then gradually stir in the Parmesan. Drizzle in the olive oil and continue working until the pesto is very smooth and no large pieces of basil are visible.
    2. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to a boil, then plunge in the green beans. Boil for about 3 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon, drain, and set aside. Add the potatoes to the same boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes. Add more salt to the boiling water if needed, and add the pasta and cook until just done, 8-10 minutes. Just before the pasta is done, remove 2 tablespoons of the cooking water and stir into the pesto. Drain the pasta and potatoes and toss in a large bowl with the pesto and green beans.

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