from Mario Batali’s “Molto Italiano”
3 T pine nuts
2 c fresh basil leaves
1 clove peeled garlic
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c freshly grated parmesan
pinch of salt
1. Combine the pine nuts, basil, garlic, and salt with a pestle until the mixture becomes a paste. (Alternatively, use a blender.)
2. Slowly drizzle the mixture into the olive oil, mixing constantly with a spoon.
3. Add parmesan 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until the mixture becomes a thick paste.
4. Can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks, if kept in a jar topped with a bit of olive oil.
Makes 1 cup.
Adapted from Mario Batali’s “Molto Italiano”
6 new potatoes or small red potatoes
1 c trimmed young green beans or haricot verts
1/2 lb pasta
freshly grated parmesan for serving
1. Boil potatoes in a medium saucepan, generously covered in heavily salted water (“like the sea,” says Matt). Boil gently until the potatoes are tender.
2. Drain the potatoes, cut in half, and set aside.
3. Cook the beans in a large saucepan of boiling salted water.* About 4 minutes, until tender.
4. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath. When beans are done, drain them, plunge them in an ice bath (to keep them from cooking longer in their own steam), and set aside.
5. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 2 T salt. Cook the pasta until al dente.
6. Drain the pasta. When you drain it, pour the water into a bowl you’ll be using to toss the vegetables, in order to warm the bowl at the same time.
7. Pour pasta, beans, potatoes, and pesto into a warmed bowl. Toss to coat the pasta and warm the beans and potatoes.
8. Serve with grated parmesan on the side.
*Note: all the salted water can be reused in each step in the process, if you want to conserve water!
Makes 4 servings.