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Local Summer Recipe: Homemade Pesto, Beans, & Potatoes (Trenette Genovese)

Trenette Genovese


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.

Trenette Genovese.

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

  • pesto

  • 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.

Trenette Genovese Dinner

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10 comments to Local Summer Recipe: Homemade Pesto, Beans, & Potatoes (Trenette Genovese)

  • What a beautiful space you have created….

    Can’t wait until summer when I will have the ingredients for this one.

    Kind Regards

  • Your new site looks great!

    We’ve been making a ton of pesto ourselves. In fact our ice cube tray is full of pesto cubes at the moment.

    We learned a new trick with pesto this year. If you quickly blanch the basil before you puree it, it will keep its bright green color.

    Looking forward to checking out your new site more!

  • BELINDA, I’m glad you like it! And ah, now you know how I’ve felt seeing all your beautiful veggies during our winter months! I guess this way we can all live vicariously through one another when we long for summer…

    KENDRA, Thanks!! Yum – thanks for the pesto tips. I just learned recently about the ice cube trick – such a great idea! We haven’t yet had pesto that we need to preserve… somehow it always gets eating right away. ; )

  • Looks delicious, though I am still hoping and waiting patiently for the polenta recipe from the other blog! ;o) I have always thought polenta would be yummy when homemade… Best wishes for the new blog, it looks great!

  • EBM, LOL. Always wanting more… ; ) OK, I’ll post it soon. Be on the lookout. Just for you…

  • Just ask Chile, I am a stickler for the recipes! ;o) Though, I made your yogurt ones last night for dinner AGAIN and all my boys put down a double batch, WITH strawberries. I sort of stopped feeling guilty about them – they are loaded with protein, so actually quite filling!

  • EBM, I’m totally amazed at how successful the pancakes have been for so many people!! So cool! I make them for myself several mornings a week. That is, after Matt has gone to work and I’m all alone with just the animals, I treat myself to these goodies and savor them while reading blogs and news in the mornings. I don’t feel guilty – they’re pretty good for you, and hey – we all deserve it!

    Oof, Chile is one hard nugget to crack, ain’t she? Something about a vegan cookbook she has in her mind. ; ) I keep trying to tell her that we’d all buy her book even if she tantalized us with some of her recipes on the blog first!

  • looks fantastic i’m gonna try it.

  • lernspielzeug

    Super-Duper web page! I’m loving it!! Will come back again – taking you feeds also, Thanks.

  • yummmmy……. thanks for the hints , i’d love to stick to your weblog as frequently as i can.possess a great day~~

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