Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pasta with green beans, roasted potatoes, and pesto, or, Jack Bishop is a god.

Jack Bishop's Pasta e Verdura is out of print, but can be had quite cheaply. This book has not only given me many great dinners, but it has also inspired me and given me the confidence to come up with my own recipes.

Last night we had this new-to-us dish and it already ranks with my favorites.

1 lb small red potatoes
1 lb green beans
2 cups loosely packed basil
1/4 c walnuts
1 clove garlic
extra virgin olive oil

1. Cut the potatoes into 1/2" dice, toss with a couple tablespoons olive oil, salt & pepper to taste, and roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes (the original recipe says 40 minutes, but mine took much less time, fwiw).

2. Place the basil, walnuts, and garlic in a food processor, blitz it for a minute, then slowly add 6T extra virgin olive oil through the feed tube (shouldn't the feed tube be called something else?). Scrape out into a large bowl, salt & pepper to taste. As this pesto doesn't contain any cheese, I found it needed more salt that I would usually go for.

3. Cook 3/4 lb pasta (recipes always call for a full pound, but I really find using a little less works out well for me.)

3. Steam the beans until just done, but still relatively crisp.

4. Toss the beans with the pesto; add the potatoes and pasta, toss together.

I made this with locally grown potatoes (thank you, Walt) and our own homegrown beans and basil. Served with corn on the cob (again: thank you, Walt). Buy local! And grow your own!