Burton F. Kaufman:
If you've got loads of fresh basil growing in your green garden this summer, we've got a new recipe you're going to want to test out. Incorporating a classic Italian pasta sauce beloved from North to South but originating in the Northwestern part of the country, in Liguria, this dish proposes a new standard: putting your pesto inside your pasta instead of simply dressing your homemade fresh pasta with the sauce.
A novel concept, particularly in Italy where Pesto is used almost exclusively as a pasta dressing, we love the slight sweetness fresh Basil Pesto lends to a creamy potato filling. And when stuffed into a delicious fresh ravioli pasta shape, this exciting pasta option is definitely worth the try. If you love fresh basil and Green Beans with almonds in general, you're going to love preparing this fresh pasta course for your friends and loved ones - all the extra effort will be paid off with cleared plates and happy tummies!
Put those green veggies to good use this summer with this light fresh pasta recipe, and add a whole new Pasta with Green Beans, Potatoes and Basil Pesto, also known as a variation of Pasta alla Ligure, into your recipe drawer. If you're feeling pasta-friendly, don't miss all the terrific fresh Italian pasta specialities in the Recipe Index.
Find inspiration in stellar fresh pasta dishes with all different kinds of fillings and sauces, and get cracking your kitchens now! Don't forget to register for Mamablip's weekly newsletter for updates on all the exciting newest Mamablip Blog articles, recipes and other wine news from Italy.
for 4 servings
Fill large pot of water, bring to boil and add potatoes. Cook over medium heat until potatoes are cooked through. Drain, allow to cool enough to handle, peel and set aside.
Gently wash the leaves of basil, and dry with paper towel, dry leaves very carefully to avoid bruising delicate basil leaves. Remove skins from the garlic cloves, cut in half to remove the inner stem (which is sometimes green in color). If you're using fresh garlic, leave cloves intact.
In order to avoid heating the ingredients while preparing pesto, place following ingredients into the bowl of your food processor (or a glass, if you're using an immersion blender): all of the basil, garlic, nuts, and 100g Parmesan cheese. Allow to chill before processing. Once chilled, process and blend well until you have reached consistency of solid paste. To assist blender in processing ingredients, add olive oil in small quantities to help blend. Cover with plastic, and place in refrigerator until ready to use.
In large bowl, place cooled, peeled potatoes and chilled pesto. Smash potatoes with fork, and incorporate pesto well. Adjust seasonings to taste with salt, pepper, olive oil and more Parmesan cheese. Your filling should be soft but compact, and flavorful.
Sift flour on wooden board, and create well in center. Break eggs and pour in well, one by one. Add single yolk.
Using fork, beat eggs together. Gently bring some flour into egg mix. Continue drawing flour into eggs a little at a the time, until flour is entirely absorbed. Knead with hands to obtain uniform mixture, continue kneading pasta dough, pushing with palm of your hands, until dough feels smooth and firm.
Shape pasta dough into round, smooth ball, and place on plate. Cover with moistened cloth or plastic wrap, and let dough settle in a fresh place for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Use minimum flour necessary, just enough to prevent dough from sticking to your hands while working.
Cut dough in parts. Place one of the pieces on lightly floured work surface, and flatten with rolling pin until it is moderately thin, or use prepared pasta machine.
Repeat same steps with other half of dough, making pasta sheets uniform in size. Set aside, covered with a moist towel if necessary to prevent pasta from drying out too much.
Cut with square cutter and place about 1 teaspoon of ravioli filling on dough, closing ravioli overlapping pasta to form square shapes.
Seal ravioli borders with fork, put shaped ravioli on a tray sprinkled with semolina to avoid ravioli sticking together.
Using heavy-bottomed sauté pan, heat few tablespoons of olive oil. Add garlic and allow to brown slightly. Add tomatoes, allow to cook over very low heat, for about 20 minutes.
Using immersion blender, process everything to create smooth sauce. If you prefer, you can leave the sauce as is, or pass through a sieve to reach a perfectly smooth version.
Adjust to taste with salt and a pinch of sugar to correct acidity. Add a dash of high quality extra virgin olive oil, if available, the latest harvest.
Bring water to a boil in stockpot. Add salt and few drops of olive oil. Gently drop ravioli in lightly boiling water a few at a time.
Cook until pasta is al dente (firm, but not too soft or overcooked - approximately a few minutes after when the ravioli have come to the surface).
Drain ravioli, picking them from boiling water with slotted spoon. Set aside, but keep hot.
Preheat oven to 160C. Line small baking sheet with baking paper.
While boiling ravioli, wash and remove stems from French (Green) beans. Cut into 1"-long pieces, and boil until cooked through, but still somewhat "al dente."
While cooking beans, toast almond pieces for about 5 minutes, being careful not to burn fine slices. When beans are done cooking, drain, run under cold water and dress with fresh olive oil and salt to taste.
Place a serving of the tomato sauce onto individual serving dish, create large circle using spoon. Place on top a serving of cooked ravioli, with another splash of tomato sauce. Add Green beans, toasted almonds and Ricotta shards or grated Parmesan cheese. Serve hot.