Mario Batali's Trenette with Walnut Pesto
- For the Pesto:
- 1 Garlic clove
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup Walnuts (shelled)
- 3 cups fresh Basil Leaves (picked)
- 3 sprigs of Thyme (leaves picked)
- Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano (plus more for grating)
For the Pasta:
- 6 New Potatoes or 6 small Red Potatoes
- 1 cup Haricot Verts (thin green beans; trimmed)
- 1 1/2 pounds Trenette Pasta
- For the Pesto: Add the garlic and a pinch of salt to a mortar and pestle. Mash until smooth. Add the walnuts and mash until course. Add the basil leaves and thyme leaves and pound until the leaves are broken down into a thick paste. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, mixing with a wooden spoon.
- Add the Parmigiano 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until the mixture forms a thick paste. (The pesto can also be made in a food processor.) The pesto can be stored in a jar, topped with a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil, for several weeks in the refrigerator.
- For the Pasta: Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan, add water to cover by at least 2 inches, and bring to a boil. Salt generously. Reduce to a simmer and cook gently until the potatoes are fork tender; drain. Once cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes in half, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook the beans in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 4 minutes. Have a salted ice bath ready. Drain the beans, plunge into the ice bath just to cool, and drain again. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season generously with salt. Cook the pasta one minute less than the package instructions.
- Add the pesto to the a large bowl. Pour the pasta into the bowl, add the beans and potatoes and toss to coat the pasta. Add a ladle full of pasta water to loosen the sauce. Grate Parmigiano over the top and drizzle with good olive oil.