Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Trofie with Pesto, Potatoes, and Green Beans

One of our favorite dishes in Cinque Terre is the Ligurian specialty:  Trofie with Pesto.  The combination of fresh pesto with potatoes, green (or string) beans, and trofie pasta is incredible.  Although we can't [yet] make it at home as great as it is when we have it for dinner on the Mediterranean, not only is it a wonderful meal, but it also bring back lots of wonderful memories of our annual trips to Cinque Terre and its fabulous scenery, food, and people.

Trofie with pesto

Trofie pasta is made by rolling a piece of dough into a long rope, cutting the rope into short pieces, and rolling each piece until the ends are tapered and the dough is twisted.  We often buy ready-made trofie at Market Hall Foods (formerly the Pasta Shop) on Fourth Street in Berkeley.

Trofie pasta

In addition to the pasta, we use 1/2 pound (.25 kg) of green beans, 3/4 pound (1/3 kg) of small round white potatoes cut into 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) rounds (alternatively, we could use two large white potatoes, peeled and cubed), and basil pesto.

Ingredients lined up

The beans are boiled about 10 minutes until slightly tender, then removed and replaced by the potatoes, which are boiled 10-15 minutes until tender.

While the beans and potatoes are cooking, we mince 50-60 basil leaves in a food processor (we can also use a mortar and pestle, which is more traditional, but a lot more work), then add several garlic cloves, toasted pine nuts, a little salt, and, once everything is well-minced, two tablespoons each of grated parmesan reggiano and pecorino romano cheeses.  We then blend in olive oil until the pesto has a light, creamy consistency.

 Prepare the beans and potatoes

Ready to assemble

The trofie is cooked in boiling water for about ten minutes, then mixed with the pesto sauce, potatoes, and beans.  After a quick stir, coating everything with the pesto sauce, the trofie pesto is plated and served with extra parmesan reggiano.

 Assemble and stir

Serve with extra cheese and wine

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