summer's first fresh pesto from my garden...

Basil basil everywhere summer has arrived!  This evening I made the first batch of pesto from my garden. I prepared it Ligurian style, that means that I add green beans and potatoes to the mix of pesto and pasta.
Here is my recipe, basil is easy to grow and is delicious in salads and added to any pasta dish.

Pesto pasta with green beans and red potatoes~

4 cups fresh basil leaves (from about 3 large bunches) +reserve the tops of the fresh basil for garnish, these should be baby leaves.
   ¾   cup olive oil
   ½   cup pine nuts
   4    garlic cloves
   ½   cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese + 4 tablespoons for the garnish
   1-teaspoon coarse kosher salt
   2 cups green beans cut into 2" pieces
   6 small red potatoes cut into quarters, with skin on. 

 * Reserve a ¼ cup of the hot pasta water to lighten the consistency of pesto.

Combine first 4 ingredients in blender. Blend until paste forms, stopping often to push down basil. Add both cheeses and salt; blend until smooth. Transfer to small bowl. This can be made 1 day ahead, stored in a sealed jar it can last 2 weeks in the refrigerator


1 box of dry mini penne pasta, ( or pen shaped pasta) cook pasta until al dente, about 15 minutes add the beans and potatoes after pasta has cooked for 5 minutes, cook potatoes and beans with pasta until cooked, reserving ¼ cup of the hot pasta water to lighten the pesto sauce consistency.

then drain then pour into a large bowl.

Toss the pasta, beans and potaoes in 4 tablespoons olive oil, add reserved water to the pesto in a seperate bowl (the pesto should be fluid but not to runny), add pesto to the pasta  and toss until incorporated. Add shredded Parmesan cheese.