Monday, March 2, 2009

Pasta with Green Beans, Potatoes, and Pesto

I came across this recipe in my Williams Sonoma Food and Wine Pairing Cookbook. I received it as a shower gift about 6 years ago. I believe that this is the first recipe I've tried. Not that it's a bad book. I've got more with post-it's on them, but they are recipes for when I have more time and a little more cash in my budget for ingredients. I deemed this one "do-able" when compiling my meal plan last week. I'm getting so sick of my cookbooks, I was ready to use something different. But I'll be posting on my cookbooks one day soon. Tonight, I'm talking about this awesome pasta!

I will say that it was absolutely delicious. Everyone loved it, even the kids. And it's green, so that's a pretty big accomplishment. It is a little involved for a Monday night dinner. I had the oven (for toasting pine nuts and roasting potatoes), the stovetop, and food processor going. Nothing tricky here, it was just a lot going on while the baby was tugging on my pant legs and crying for dinner. Also, my four year old was "helping" (and consuming large amounts of pine nuts). About half way through the preparation she announced, "This is too fancy! We have to pretend it's a restaurant. Lights out!" So, we ended up having this dinner by candlelight. My husband arrived late for dinner to a dark house and rounded the corner to the kitchen to find his ladies shoving this yummy pesto pasta into our faces around the glow of one candle.

Here's how it went: I began by toasting 1/4 cup of pine nuts for the pesto until they took on some color and were fragrant. I set them aside to cool and then...

I rubbed about 10 oz. of new potatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper and put them into the oven to roast for about 35 minutes.

While the potatoes roasted, I combined the basil, garlic, and toasted pine nuts in my food processor to make the pesto.

Pulse until the basil is chopped. Speaking of basil, it's a little pricey for this amount. I am so looking forward to this Summer when I can grow and harvest my own for recipes like this.

Add in the cheese and pulse to combine.

Now, with the food processor running, pour in the olive oil until the mixture reaches the consistency of mayonnaise. Salt and pepper to taste.

And's pesto!

Let's clean and snap our green beans.

Cook them in a pot of salted water until tender. Scoop them out with a skimmer and rinse under cold water. Save the cooking water for your pasta!

Remove the potatoes from the oven and cut them into bite sized pieces.

Toss them into 2 tablespoons of heated oil and cook em' until they get a little crispy.

Add the beans to the potatoes and cook until heated through.

Return the green bean water to a boil and drop in the fresh pasta for a couple of minutes until cooked.

Add the pesto to the potatoes and beans and stir to combine.

While the pasta cooks, I grate some Parmiggiano-Reggiano to sprinkle on top of the finished dish. Set aside.

Toss the pasta well with the pesto and veggies and top with grated cheese. I wish you all could just smell and taste this right now! Wow!

And since it was a "fancy dinner" we HAD to have dessert. I thawed some of the leftover Chocolate Lava Cakes that I froze from our Valentine's Day dinner. I warmed them in the microwave (they re-heated beautifully) and to add insult to injury I frosted them with some Hershey's chocolate frosting. Truly decadent.

Pasta with Green Beans, Potatoes, and Pesto from Williams Sonoma

For the pesto
1/4 cup (2 oz/60 g) pine nuts or walnuts
2 cups (3 oz/90 g) tightly packed fresh basil leaves
2 or 3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup (1 oz/30 g) grated pecorino sardo or Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
salt and ground pepper to taste

8 new potatoes, 9-10 oz (280-315 g) total weight
4 tablespoons (2 fl oz/60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
salt and ground pepper to taste
1/2 lb. (250 g) green beans, trimmed and cut into l-l 14-inch (2.5—4-cm) lengths
1 lb. (500 g) fresh tagliarini or fettuccine
1/4 cup (1 oz/30 g) grated pecorino sardo or Parmesan cheese

To make the pesto, preheat an oven to 35O°F (18o°C). Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast until they take on color and are fragrant, 5-8 minutes. Let cool. Leave the oven set at 35o°F (18o°C). In a food processor, combine the nuts, basil, and garlic. Pulse until the basil is chopped. Add the cheese and pulse to combine. With the motor running, pour in the 1/2 cup (4 fl 02/125 ml) oil, a few drops at a time, until the mixture has the consistency of mayonnaise, adding more oil as needed. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

Rub the new potatoes with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish and roast, shaking the dish from time to time, until tender when pierced, about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil. Add the beans and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Scoop out with a skimmer, cool under running water, and drain.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and cut into bite-sized pieces. In a large saute pan over high heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the potatoes and saute until golden, about 4 minutes. Add the beans and stir until heated through, about 1 minute. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, return the large pot of water to a boil. Drop in the pasta, stir well, and cook until al dente (tender, but firm to the bite), about 2 minutes. Drain, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking water. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl.

Stir the pesto and the reserved water into the vegetables in the pan (off the heat). Add to the pasta and toss well. Pass the cheese at the table.

NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS PER SERVING: Calories 894 (Kilojoules 3,755); Protein 24 g; Carbohydrates 82 g; Total Fat 56 g; Saturated Fat 10 g; Cholesterol 92 mg; Sodium 654 mg; Dietary Fiber 7 g

WW points per serving: I don't wanna talk about it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OMG I absolutely love this! I can't get enough of pesto! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

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