Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Pasta with Pesto, Potatoes and Green Beans

I am absolutely astonished that neither Blake nor I have written about this dish before. It's one of those meals that has remained vivid and fresh in my mind some four years after I first dug my fork in. Why? Well, probably because it initially seemed so strange. Sure, pesto and pasta obviously pair well together, but what about those potatoes? How can this dish be anything other than a heavy, gluey, starch-filled mess?

Turns out that all that starch from the potatoes helps to lovingly coat the pasta, making each bite oddly creamy and rich. It's an astonishing trick, and one that makes this simple and humble recipe from Bon Appetit more impressive than it has any right to be. Everything is cooked in the same pot, then tossed in the same bowl.

If you buy pre-made pesto, then this recipe has just three other ingredients. But I've never found a pesto that could compete with the bright green and fragrant stuff I can make at home. It's what pulls everything together. Originally the recipe called for trenette, which is a thicker style of linguine. It definitely works, but I've always preferred the thicker and shorter rigatoni.

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