I know its a bit of a cop out, but my brain dribbled out of my ear as I chewed on the ears of my seventeenth Lindt bunny, so I chose this recipe purely because it was green.
Green just like the spring haha. I have never cooked with Pesto before, or said the words “Ooo its got pesto in, I’ll have that”, so I thought it would be good to try something new. And it meant I got to use the machine again…
As I read the ingredients list, I thought about getting garlic bread so I could pack all the carbs into one dish, but decided that the pasta and potatoes would be enough on their own.
To make this for 4 you will need: 500g floury potatoes (like King Edwards, cut up into half inch chunks), 500g linguine, 200g fine beans, 100g basil leaves, 100g grated Parmesan, 1 garlic clove, 100ml olive oil, and 100ml extra virgin olive oil.
You will need a large pan, filled with enough salted water to boil the potatoes and the pasta. Put the potato chunks in and bring to the boil and boil for 20 minutes.
Add the pasta and boil for the length of time recommended on the packet and four minutes before the end, then throw in the beans. Note: if you are using fresh pasta, boil the potatoes for 28-30 minutes and then put the beans in, put the pasta in so it will be cooked when everything else is done… use dried pasta.
Nigella says that for this dish you need to make the pesto yourself, in a blender! Vroom! While the pan is on with the potato and pasta put the basil leaves, Parmesan, garlic and oil into the mixer and blitz it until it looks like pesto… which is really hard to photograph.
Take half a cup full of the cooking water from the pan and then drain the potatoes, pasta and beans. Off the heat return them to the pan and stir in the pesto and the cooking water and serve immediately.
I’m not entirely sure what I did wrong; it just didn’t really taste of anything. My friend suggested that I’d not salted the water enough (I had) and I thought maybe my Parmesan wasn’t flavour-full enough. While it smelled amazing and looked devine it was pretty bland so I don’t know if I’ll make it again.
And I still don’t totally see what all the fuss is about with pesto!
Kitchen, by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus 2010, ISBN 9780701184605)