Pasta with potato, beans and pesto

    30 min

    This is a traditional Ligurian dish that is usually made with potatoes, green beans and baby broad beans. Here, broccoli and courgettes boost the green vegetable content. The pesto sauce used to dress the pasta and vegetables is lighter than most, but still packs a wonderful flavoursome punch.

    1 person made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) small new potatoes, halved or quartered
    • 225 g (8 oz) broccoli, cut into small florets
    • 75 g (2½ oz) shelled broad beans, skinned if preferred, 340–400 g (12–14 oz) in pods
    • 170 g (6 oz) fine green beans, topped and tailed
    • 2 courgettes, cut into bite-sized chunks
    • 300 g (10½ oz) tubular or hollow pasta shapes, such as casarecce (slim rolled lengths), gemelli (narrow spirals), orecchiette (little ears) or gnocchi (fluted shells)
    • sprigs of fresh basil to garnish
    • Tomato pesto sauce
    • 4–5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
    • 2 tbsp pine nuts
    • 100 g (3½ oz) fresh basil leaves
    • 55 g (2 oz) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
    • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
    • salt

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:30min 

    1. Cook the potatoes in boiling water for about 15 minutes or until they are tender, but not soft. Add the broccoli, broad beans, green beans and courgettes, and simmer all together for a further 5 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente.
    3. Make the pesto sauce while the vegetables and pasta are cooking. Pound the garlic with a pinch of salt and the pine nuts in a mortar using a pestle. Add the basil and continue pounding until the ingredients form a green paste, then work in the Parmesan cheese and oil. Finally, work in the tomatoes. Alternatively, the pesto can be made in a food processor or blender: put all the ingredients, except the oil, in the container and whiz to a paste, then gradually add the oil through the feed tube with the motor running.
    4. Drain the pasta and vegetables and toss both together. Top with the pesto, garnish with sprigs of basil, scattering them over the top, and serve immediately.

    Parmesan cheese

    Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

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