Pasta with Pesto and Runner Beans (4)

A version of the classic Ligurian dish of Trofie with Green Beans and Potatoes from Anna Tobias. You can use any pasta you like.

Pasta with Pesto and Runner Beans (4)
Print Recipe
Pasta with Pesto and Runner Beans (4)
Print Recipe
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
  2. Start by making the pesto. Place the pine nuts on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 5 minutes until golden. Allow to cool
  3. For a smooth pesto place all of the ingredients for the pesto (except the oil) in a blender (not a food processor). Blend for a few seconds to get it going, then slowly drizzle in the olive oil until you have a smooth green sauce
  4. If you prefer a coarser pesto, then you can also make it in a pestle and mortar. In this case, leave out the water. Place the garlic, pine nuts, basil, salt and pepper in the mortar and pound until you have a paste. Mix in the grated cheese and olive oil. In both cases check the seasoning and adjust as necessary
  5. Prepare the runner beans. If the beans are young and tender, then you can probably get away with not having to de-string them. If they’re older then remove the strings by running a peeler down the length of the edge of the bean (the side that has a small ridge on it) and top and tail them
  6. Once this is done, slice the runner beans at an angle into dainty ribbons, about ½ cm wide. Boil the beans in a pot of salted water for about 4 minutes until they are just cooked (but certainly not al-dente). Drain
  7. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the trofie according to the packet instructions. Two minutes before the pasta is ready, warm the beans and pesto, along with 3 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water
  8. When the pasta is ready, drain it, reserving a teacup full of the cooking water. Mix the pasta in with the beans and pesto. Check the seasoning. Add enough pasta water so that you have a slick sauce that gently clings to the trofie
  9. Serve immediately with a little extra grated Parmesan on top
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