double carbs: ligurian linguine

over the years i’ve seen many recipes for pasta (usually trofie, a ligurian pasta) with pesto (another ligurian speciality), potatoes and green beans.

they’ve never really appealed to me – partly thanks to memories of student meals compromising little more than pasta and pesto and partly due to my lack of interest in potatoes.

for some reason though, i decided to give it a try and was pleasantly surprised. the potato is very thinly sliced and treated as another vegetable rather than as a filling carbohydrate. this allowed it to shine (use jersey royals for extra flavour) and i loved the contrast of textures that it created in the dish. the combination of flavours also works wonderfully well.

i didn’t actually use pesto in this recipe, sticking to homemade basil oil and adding the parmesan and pine nuts separately. i think this works particularly well as the toasted pine nuts are nice as a separate ingredient.

the recipe below is for 4 but i only did pasta for two and took the extra bean and potato mix as a packed lunch which was delicious eaten at room temperature. next time i make this i will try it with trofie (i quite fancy making my own) so it is a little more authentic.

ligurian linguine (serves 4)

150-200g green beans, trimmed

6 small potatoes, preferably jersey royals, peeled and thinly sliced

pasta - i used linguine, trofie is more traditional

2 heaped teaspoons basil oil*or pesto**

1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts

1 tablespoon grated parmesan plus extra for serving

salt & pepper

bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the beans until they are just cooked – c3minutes. remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and reheat the water to boiling point, having added some salt. add the sliced potatoes and cook until they are just cooked. drain and put a fresh pan of water on to boil and cook your pasta.

mix the cooked beans and potatoes with the basil oil, pine nuts and parmesan. season to taste then mix with the cooked pasta. serve with extra parmesan.

*to make the basil oil, blitz some finely crushed garlic with lots of fresh basil. add olive oil to create a paste and season to taste.

** if you use pesto you needn’t add the grated parmesan to the pasta but i’d still add the toasted pine nuts