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Author Notes: Sometimes the original truly is best. This is the classic recipe without getting fancy with modifications. The key to making this a show stopper is to make every one of the few ingredients the best quality you can find. Oh, and if anyone ever tries to sell you on a "traditional" pasta with pesto that doesn't include potatoes and green beans, you can, with confidence, tell them they are wrong. —sumradagnoth
Pesto alla Genovese
- 2.5 cups packed young (small) basil, leaves oly
- 1 clove garlic, whole
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup best quality extra-virgin olive oil, from Liguria
- 1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
- large pinch of sea salt
- This would all traditionally be done with a stone mortar and pestle, but for the sake of convenience, we will use a food processor. Be sure to select very young, tender basil for the pesto, and remove the stems.
- Add the basil, garlic, pine nuts (which you can toast if you prefer a more pronounced flavor) and salt to the food processor and begin processing. Slowly add the oil in a thin stream until a thick paste forms. Be sure not to over-process the mixture.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and fold in the cheese.
- You can place this in a jar, covered with a bit of oil, and refrigerate until ready to use. Do not heat the pesto before using it or adding it to whatever recipe you desire.
- 1 large handful of haricot verts
- 6-8 new potatoes
- 1 pound trenette
- 1 cup pesto alla genovese
- parmigiano-reggiano, for grating
- Bring a large pot of copiously salted water to boil. Let the pesto come to room temperature, if you had it in the refrigerator.
- Add potatoes to boiling water and cook until just tender. Remove potatoes and cut them in half or quarters, depending on their size.
- Add pasta to the water and cook until just al dente. Add the haricot verts to the same pasta water about 2 minutes before the pasta would be done.
- In a large serving bowl, add the pesto and a small ladle of the pasta cooking water. The pesto should be mixed with enough water to loosen it a good bit.
- Drain the pasta and haricot verts, add to the bowl with the pesto and the reserved potatoes. Toss well and serve with grated parmigiano-reggiano.