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Trofie with Green Beans, Potato, and Pesto Genovese
Trofie with Green Beans, Potato, and Pesto Genovese
Italian
Main
1 hour
Vegetables/vegetarian
Medium
Serves
2

This pasta dish is Liguria on a plate, with Genovese pesto used to swaddle a steadying combination of potato, green beans, and trofie pasta. Trofie is a great shape to start with if you haven’t attempted handmade pasta before, but don’t get disheartened if it takes a couple of attempts to get right.

Recipe courtesy of
Ingredients
  • 175g semola di grano duro, or 240g fresh trofie, or 200g dried linguine
  • 150g new potatoes
  • 100g fine green beans
  • 120g pesto Genovese (see below)

Pesto Genovese 

  • 100g bunched basil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 100g Parmesan, freshly grated
  • 100g Pecorino Romano, freshly grated
  • 100g pine nuts (the long Italian ones)
  • 175ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 25g butter, softened
Method
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Method
  1. For the pesto, pick the basil leaves, wash them gently and only if you have to, then let them dry naturally, spread out on a cloth. 
  2. Crush the garlic to a paste with a little salt. Put the cheeses, basil and garlic into a food processor and work until a fine paste, then add the pine nuts and continue until quite fine, but with some texture from the nuts. 
  3. Add the olive oil and butter, some salt and pepper. It is best to let it stand for a few minutes before you finally taste for seasoning. This recipe is enough for about ten — there's no point making a smaller quantity, and the sauce freezes very well, especially in little packets for two. 
  4. For the trofie, put the semola out on a wooden board, make a well and add 75ml water, at room temperature. Bring together to make a firm dough, knead and leave to rest, covered, for at least 15 minutes. Make sure your board is completely free of any flour. 
  5. Break off a walnut-sized lump of dough and roll to make a long, 5mm-wide strand. Cut it into 2—3cm lengths. One by one, quickly roll each of these lengths between the flat of your hand and the board to make a 4cm long strand, 3mm wide at the middle and tapering at either end. 
  6. Use something flat, long and straight (palette knife, ruler, back of a knife) and hold it at a 45° angle to the board, and a 45° angle to the little piece of pasta dough. Slide it, in a single motion towards you, rolling along and across the dough. You need to create a sort of helix — if you're skidding, dampen the board slightly. Without too much practice, it should take about 15 minutes for this quantity. They don't all need to look the same, they are home-made! Leave the trofie spread out to dry slightly for about 20 minutes, until just a little leathery outside. 
  7. Peel the potatoes and slice very thinly and evenly, 1—2mm thick. Top the green beans (I like to leave the tails on), and cut in 3—4cm lengths. In a pan of well-salted water, boil the pasta, beans and potato together for 5 minutes* or until cooked. Drain, and serve with the pesto on top to stir in at the table. 
  8. *If using bought, dried linguine, be aware they will likely take longer than 5 minutes to cook. To avoid the unthinkable choice between undercooked potatoes and overcooked pasta, add the vegetables 6—7 minutes before the end of the cooking time predicted by the packet.

The Pass was created to help the many people now struggling to feed themselves and their families as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you like or use this recipe, please consider making a small donation to Hospitality Action to help those whose livelihoods have all but disappeared.

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