Pesto, pasta, green beans and potatoes; what an amazing mouthful that is! I first had this dish at a restaurant in Lambertville New Jersey. It seemed like an unlikely combination, but it has the best “mouth feel”. The sweet taste of the green beans and potatoes with the very garlicky pesto is divine. The next time we had it was in Italy at an airport motel where we stayed the night before a flight out. I expected the food to be poor as it so often is in US airport hotels, but I was happily wrong. I ordered lasagna and Peter ordered the pesto dish and I was jealous! When we got home I found this recipe in an old Martha Stewart Living magazine. It is a one pot meal and very easy to do. Like a stir fry recipe, it’s important to do the prep ahead of time and then add the ingredients as they are listed into a pot of boiling water.
In Italy they used trofiette pasta, which are thin twirled pieces. Just lovely! On another trip to Italy, we found bags of them in a convenience store and bought several.
I’m out of them now, and so I used this torchiette pasta, which is a good size with the beans. You can use any macaroni sized pasta, but I think it’s fun to use something not generally found on the supermarket shelves. I am between plantings of beans and so these are from the farmer’s market. The potatoes I used were ours, as was the very garlicky pesto.
And here it is!!! I hope you can imagine the smell of the warmed pesto, the crunch of the beans and the softness of the potatoes and pasta. Next time I think I’ll add more green beans; they add such a sweet bite. Happily this dish can be made in the Winter using grocery store foods, but if I do buy commercial pesto, I always spice it up by adding fresh garlic and Parmesan cheese.
This is the ultimate comfort food, kindness of Italy! Let me know if you try it.