Ligurian-Style Pesto

By • July 5, 2010 0 Comments

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Ligurian-Style Pesto


Author Notes: I just made this for July 4th out at my parents' place in the Berkshires with fresh basil from my mother's garden. To me, this tastes like summer! I fell in love with Ligurian pesto (from the Italian region of Liguria) when I visited Cinque Terre at the tender age of 17. Now this is not a purist's Ligurian pesto, but my own spin with walnuts and pea pods (typically green beans are used, but I like the crunch of the pods!). I also use a food processor instead of the traditional mortar and pestle. However, the trofie pasta is quite traditional and brings out the flavor of the pesto in a special way. It's very important to taste as you make the pesto and adjust according to your own preference. This makes a good amount of pesto and you may have some leftover (never a bad thing in my book!). student epicure

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Serves 8

  • 1/2 pound pea pods, steamed and halved lengthwise
  • 1 pound new russet potatoes, steamed, halved, sliced and seasoned with salt & pepper
  • 4 cups loosely packed basil
  • 1 finely minced garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 500 grams trofie Italian pasta
  1. In a food processor, combine basil, garlic, olive oil, parmesan cheese, walnuts, and juice of half a lemon. Pulse until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Adjust according to preference. If too sour, add more olive oil and parmesan; if not acidic enough, add more lemon juice. Set aside.
  2. Cook trofie according to package directions. Strain, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Pour pasta onto serving platter. Top with pea pods and potatoes. Add half the pesto on top. Toss ingredients together (I find tongs work well for this) and then taste. Add cooking liquid if too dry or more pesto if not flavorful enough. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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