TRENETTE GENOVESE BY CHEF MARIO BATALI
SATISFYING YOUR PALETTE WITH A TASTE OF ITALY
“Once you've put your groceries in the car, the quality of your dinner has already been decided.”
High-quality ingredients are essential to Mario Batali’s cuisine whether being used in an eclectic contemporary dish or a century-old, classic. Trenette Genovese, from his book Molto Italiano, is the true pasta with pesto from the stunningly beautiful Ligurian coast in the northwestern corner of Italy, on the border of France. The potatoes serve to soak up the driblets of oil from the pesto and the beans add a delightful crunch and a counterpoint of sweetness.
For true authenticity, check local farmers’ markets or produce stands for the freshest bush basil, which has an almost bonsai-like appearance and an aroma that hints of cinnamon, clove and anise. It is the preferred variety of basil to use when making pesto, especially in Liguria - and Ligurians almost make a religion of their devotion to pesto sauce and its main ingredient, fresh basil.
Trenette with Pesto, Beans and Potatoes
Makes 6 Servings | Region: Liguria | Book: Molto Italiano (Ecco 2005)
6 new potatoes or small red potatoes
1 cup trimmed young green beans or haricots verts
1 pound trenette or linguine fini
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan, add salted water to cover generously, and bring to a boil. Boil gently until the potatoes are tender; drain. Cut the potatoes in half, and set aside.
Meanwhile, cook the beans in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, 4 minutes. Have an ice bath ready. Drain the beans, plunge into the ice bath just to cool, and drain again. Set aside.
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Cook the pasta until al dente; drain.
Pour the pasta into a warmed bowl, add the beans, potatoes and pesto, and toss to coat the pasta and to warm the beans and potatoes; do not return to the heat. Serve with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano on the side.
Makes 1 cup
3 tablespoons pine nuts
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, peeled
Pinch of salt
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Combine the pine nuts, basil, garlic and salt in a large stone mortar and grind with the pestle until the mixture forms a paste. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, beating all the while with a wooden spoon. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until the mixture forms a thick paste. The pesto can also be made in a food processor. The pesto can be stored in a jar, topped with a thin layer of extra-virgin olive oil, for several weeks in the refrigerator.
Get more of THE DETAILS: