Pesto alla Genovese

By • September 2, 2013 • 2 Comments



Author Notes: What pasta should you use pesto with? Typically something from Genova such as trenette or bavette, both similar to linguine. Also try potato gnocchi, tagliatelle, lasagne (layered with pesto, boiled potato slices and blanched green beans, Parmesan, a touch of cream) or trofie (pictured). A rather old tradition still enjoyed throughout Liguria is the addition of cooked potatoes and green beans, a dish known as pesto ricco. A trick if those sweet little leaves of genoese basil aren't available and you have only large ones: blanch them quickly in boiling water before use to preserve their sweetness (and avoid that blackening oxidation).Emiko

Serves 4

For the pesto:

  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic
  • a pinch of coarse sea salt
  • 2 ounces of basil leaves (one large bunch of basil)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons grated pecorino cheese
  • 1/3 cup 1/3 cup (delicately flavored) extra virgin olive oil

For the pesto ricco:

  • 11 ounces dried pasta such as linguine (see notes above)
  • 2 small-medium sized potatoes, peeled, quartered then cut into ¼ inch slices
  • 1 cup green beans, cut into 1 inch sections
  • extra virgin olive oil
  1. In a mortar, pound the garlic with the sea salt to a paste. Add the basil leaves (picked, washed with cold water and pat dry) and pound until very fine and begin to seep their bright green juice. Add the pine nuts and grind until creamy, then the cheese -- the quantities above are considered 'ideal' but for a milder flavour, go for all Parmesan. Finish with the extra virgin olive oil, added in small dribbles at a time until you have “the consistency of creamed butter” to use Elizabeth David's words.
  2. If not using immediately, place in a jar and let sit until the oil makes its way to the top; if it does not make a sufficient 'film' over the top of the pesto to protect it, add a little bit more to seal the pesto. It will keep in the fridge well for three days. Pesto also freezes well; freeze it in an ice cube tray for portion control.
  3. To make the pesto ricco, boil a large pot of water. Add a generous pinch of salt. Depending on the pasta you choose to go, the timings may vary here but I favour pasta with a bite, slightly crunchy greens and well cooked potato. Typically, this means, putting the pasta into the pot first, then adding the potato a couple of minutes later, then the greens for the last 5-6 minutes. If you are unsure, you can always cook the vegetables separately to your liking then combine them all at the end.
  4. In a large bowl, place the pesto, diluted with some of the water used for cooking the pasta to create a sauce. Add the cooked pasta and vegetables and toss until combined with an extra dribble of olive oil. Serve immediately.
From Our Friends
powered by ZergNet

Comments (2) Questions (0)

Default-small
Default-small
Image

3 months ago Adelucchi

Correction: ricotta cheese gnocchi!

Image

3 months ago Adelucchi

Made this recipe with my 9 year granddaughter who loves pesto. We began with the mortar but her arms soon gave out. (and mine too!) we flipped it over to the blender and it came out perfect! We made risotto gnocchi from this site and it all came together for a delightful meal and a delighted little girl. Thanks so much for the recipes. Instead of giving her a fish, she learned how to fish!!