Ramp and Green Garlic Pesto and a Riff on a Genoese Favorite

By • April 22, 2012 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: One of our favorite dishes is pesto with green beans and potatoes. When I made this ramp pesto, I had also just bought green beans and fingerling potatoes so I thought I'd give this version a try with a beloved combination. healthierkitchen

Serves 4 - 6

Ramp and Green Garlic Pesto

  • 2 bunches ramps, ends trimmed and cut into 1 or 2 inch pieces (bunches is so vague so I weighed them and it was about 1/3 lb - maybe 20 ramps)
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1 small head green garlic, tough outer skin removed and cut into chunks (or 2 fat cloves of regular garlic
  • 1/4 cup toasted pepitas
  • a couple of pinches of kosher salt
  • a few grinds of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  1. Place first six ingredients into bowl of food processor and blend until all the vegetables are almost pureed.
  2. Stream in the olive oil and make a paste.
  3. Remove pesto to a bowl and mix in the cheese. Taste for salt and pepper.
  4. This recipe yields about 2 cups of pesto - enough for this pasta dish and enough to save/freeze for another time.

Not Quite Genoese Pesto with Green Beans and Potatoes

  • 3/4 pound small fingerling or new red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into uniform bite sized pieces (I generally cut them in half or quarters if they are larger)
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1/2 pound thinnish green beans, trimmed and cut into about one inch pieces
  • about 1 cup Ramp and Green Garlic Pesto
  1. Put water up in a large pasta pot, big enough to hold the pasta, potatoes and green beans. I like to make this in one pot, though you don't have to. Bring to a rolling boil.
  2. Check the package of pasta and see what the recommended cooking time is. I find that the potatoes usually take a couple of minutes longer than penne, so I put them in first and let them boil for two to three minutes. I estimate 10 minutes for the potatoes, so unless your pasta says it will take longer than that, put the potatoes into the pasta pot.
  3. After about 2 - 3 minutes, add the pasta in to the pot and stir once or twice in the next few minutes.
  4. After the pasta has cooked for one minute less than the recommended cooking time, test the pasta and potatoes and if they are almost done, add the green beans and cook for one to two more minutes.
  5. Reserve one cup of the pasta cooking water and then drain the pasta and vegetables. Put them into a large serving bowl with one cup of Ramp and Green Garlic Pesto and add half of the cooking water. Mix, adding more cooking water as needed, until all the pasta and vegetables are coated with the pesto.
  6. Grate a little more cheese over top and serve!
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