Basil pestos is a must have in your weeknight repertoire. It comes together in no time and only has a few ingredients. The potatoes and green beans are optional but do add a lovely flavor. I was against this at first but changed by mind after a visit to Genoa, the birthplace of pesto, where I had the most amazing pesto with potatoes and green beans.
I do highly recommend using a pestle and mortar instead of a food processor. Besides it being traditional, I do find that a food processor heats up the basil, causing it to cook a bit in the process and lose flavor. You will yield a major difference in flavor and it is well worth the effort! Even doing it by hand, you can have the pesto ready even before the water boils!
I do weigh the basil and cheese for this recipe. Reason being, 1 cup of packed basil vs loosely packed is very different.
Check out our Trofie recipe here! For 2 servings, you will want a half batch.
Basil Pesto with Trofie
Quick and delicious basil pesto with trofie.
Add the garlic and salt to your pestle and mortar and mix to a paste. Continue by adding a handful of basil at a time until it is well broken up. Add the parmigiano cheese in 3rd. At this point it should resemble a thick paste. Drizzle in the olive oil while still mashing. It should loosen up. Test for seasoning and adjust.The basil may seem like too much, but it will break down after smashing. See gallery for detailed pics.
Wash and slice the potatoes into small cuts around 1". Cut the green beans in 3rd.
Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and green beans and cook for 10 minutes or until soft. Timing will depend on the thickness and type of your potatoes. Remove from the water and set aside. Add the trofie and boil for 12-15 minutes (check the cooking instructions on the box if buying store bought). The trofie should be al-dente but not hard or falling apart.
Add the trofie and vegetables into a large bowl then coat with the pesto. Serve with more cheese grated over and some crust bread!