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Traditionally, the Genovese pesto recipe is served with fresh Trofie pasta, green beans, and potatoes. They are all cooked together as the starch from the potatoes makes the sauce creamier.
This pasta bowl is a complete meal with carbs, vegetables, and proteins from the cheese.
It is a perfect light lunch to have during the summer when there is plenty of fresh basil growing in my vegetable patch.
…..I wish !!!
I try, I really do try to plant basil every year but I haven’t really been successful.
I planted it in the ground, in pots, in the shade, and in the sun.
Grown from seeds, bought the plants, watered it plenty, loved it like a son……
and I always end up in Ventimiglia to buy a large crate of basil to make my pesto.
This year I decided to throw basil seeds everywhere around the garden and where-ever the basil grows I will make a small altar with a statue of the Virgin Mary and bring blessed water from Mass every Sunday.
A miracle should work !
But if you want to have more practical advice on how to grow basil, you can read my article on Lavancia Organic Farm: Hints and Tips to Grow Organic .
I don’t know how many of you are familiar with Trofie pasta.
They are fresh pasta like a short twisted spaghetti with a chunky texture.
It can be made at home and I will eventually post the recipe.
In the meantime, if you cannot find the fresh Trofie where you live, Barilla makes a dry version and you might be able to find it in your local supermarket.
Another option is to use the Fusilli.
Though be careful and check the cooking time of your Trofie.
It is very important in this recipe, that the potatoes, the green beans, and the Trofie are cooked in the same pot as the starch from the potatoes adds to the creaminess of the pasta.
I add the Trofie in the last 3 minutes of cooking time because my fresh Trofie only requires 3 minutes of cooking.
If your Trofie needs more time to cook add them earlier so that everything is ready at the same time.
The potatoes should cook 18 minutes, the green beans 3 to 5 minutes depending on their size.
The Trofie from Barilla need to cook for 10 minutes, so add them after 8 minutes of boiling the potatoes.
For this recipe, I made a 1-minute video and you can see it here below.
But before you get started I want to share with you another important hint for the pesto recipe.
I use the Braun Mixer (Affiliate link from Amazon) and never blend all at once.
The pesto should be made with intermittent pulses otherwise the heat from the blade will oxidize the basil.
The result is a bitter and dark looking pesto.
Also, add the pine nuts last if you want to taste their crunchiness.
You can keep the pesto in the fridge for up to 1 week.
You could freeze the pesto into an ice cube container, but don’t expect the same taste as a fresh one.
The Classic Pesto Recipe Pasta Trofie
- 1 lb fresh trofie pasta cooking time should be around 3 minutes
- 2 potatoes
- 7 oz fresh green beans
- 1 tbsp coarse salt
For the Pesto
- 2 cup basil leaves
- 6 tbsp Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp pecorino cheese
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp pine nuts
- 1 clove garlic peeled
- 1 tbsp butter optional
- 1 pinch salt
- Peel and cut the potatoes into cubes
- In a large pan boil the potatoes for 10 minutes with 1 tbsp of salt
- Clean and trim the stem ends of the green beans
- Add the green beans to the boiling potatoes and boil for 5 minutes
- Add the trofie and cook for 3 more minutes. The trofie cooking time should be 3 minutes.
- All the vegetables and the pasta should finish cooking at the same time. 18 minutes for the potatoes, 5 for the green beans and 3 for the trofie. If the trofie have a cooking time longer than 3 minutes add them earlier.
Make the Pesto
- Add all the ingredients for the pesto in a blender.
- The pesto should be mixed gradually with pulsing movements. If mixed continuously the heat created by the blades will oxidize the basil turning the pesto into a dark colour.
- Add 2 tbsp of the boiling water into the pesto to make it creamier. I also add 1 tbsp of butter, but it is optional
- Drain the trofie, the potatoes and the green beans
- Mix immediately with the pesto, add more Parmesan and serve while still warm