Monday, August 13, 2007

Pasta with Pesto, New Potatoes and Green Beans

I was with my mom at Costco a few weeks ago and convinced her to pick up Everyday Food: Great Food Fast, which is a collection of recipes from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazines. Well she didn't actually need a lot of convincing once she saw all the beautiful photos (one photo for each recipe) and yummy recipes that aren't incredibly time conusming. I'm biased against cookbooks with tons of photos because it seems like the cookbooks with only a few photos are the ones that have the best recipes. (While the ones full of photos sucker you in so easily without necessarily having quality recipes.) That is likely a very incorrect statement but for some reason that's what's stuck in my head. Anyway, I subscribe to the Everyday Food magazine so I'm sure I have lots of the recipes but it's also nice to have all the 'best' ones in one book with an index. The Everyday Food magazine is not super vegetarian friendly, but there are lots of baked goods, some vegetarian meals, ways to cook vegetables, salads, side dishes, and some meat dishes where you could replace the meat with tofu. Mostly I love the magazine because of the photos though.

My boyfriend and I decided to make pasta with pesto, new potatoes and green beans. I love pesto, pasta and new potatoes, and have recently come to like green beans, which I previously hated. Ever since I tried this insanely delicious green bean dish at a Chinese restaurant, I've been wanting to eat green beans more often. I'd recommend making sure you have lots of pesto, because I didn't find there was enough when we had it. Mind you I didn't actually measure the pesto when I added it, and just used up the amount that I had made (which I also don't think I added enough basil to). I think adding pine nuts or maybe walnuts would be a good addition to the pasta, and would add protein. It was so incredibly easy to make, and if you already have the pesto made (or are using store bought pesto) then it's a one pot meal. Boil water, add potatoes, add pasta, add green beans, drain and add pesto. And it's a healthy dish too - did you know potatoes are a source of vitamin C?

Edit: As my friend pointed out, potatoes do lose some of their nutrients when boiled, so if you bake or boil them in their skins they will retain more vitamin C. In this recipe, I cut up the potatoes and boiled them in water. This method of cooking them is definitely not the way to get all the vitamin C that you can out of them. You could always bake the potatoes separately, cut them up and then add them to your pasta. A serving of baked or boiled potato with the skin has more vitamin C than an apple (20mg vs 9mg). I found another website that claimed potatoes have 25mg vitamin C, and that one baked potato can give you 45% of your recommended daily vitamin C. To find out more about the amounts of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fiber in fruits and vegetables, check out this website.

Pasta with Pesto, New Potatoes and Green Beans
(adapted from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast)

Serves 3

10 new potatoes*
coarse salt & fresh ground pepper
8 ounces whole wheat rotini (or cavatappi or fusilli)
8 ounces green beans, trimmed and halved
1/2 cup pesto

1. Scrub potatoes then cut them into 1-inch cubes; place in a large pot of water and bring to a boil.

2. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the rotini; return to a boil and cook for 3 minutes.**

3. Add the green beans. Return to a boil; cook until the vegetables are tender (1.5-2 minutes) and the pasta is al dente.

4. Drain; toss with the pesto and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*Original recipe calls for 2 waxy potatoes.
**I cooked the pasta for an extra minute because whole wheat pasta seems to take a bit longer to cook than regular pasta.


Patricia Scarpin said...

I have that book and absolutely love it!

This pasta dish looks so good, I'll have to try it, too!

VeggieGirl said...

great pasta dish variation - pesto, potatoes, and green beans complement each other quite well in this type of meal

Valli said...

This would be a very satisfying and filling dish. Love the use of pesto!!!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I can't do cookbooks with no pictures. I never know how the recipe is supposed to turn out. Your salad looks delicious, although I'd have to leave out the green beans for my family.

Cassie said...

Looks tasty! I love simple, flavorful combinations like this. :)

Truffle said...

This looks and sounds absolutely delicious! Love the photos :)

Rebecca Bourke said...

Wow, I love potato and pesto <3

eatme_delicious said...

patricia: It's a great book. :)

veggiegirl: Yea I was really happy with the combination of flavours!

valli: Anything with pesto and I'm sold!

lynn: True about not knowing how it's going to turn out. But then there are times when you make something and compare it to the picture and think, that's not how mine looks at all!

cassie: Thanks. :)

truffle: Thanks!

rebecca: Me too. :)

Anonymous said...

wow i love how simple and delicious this looks :)

Maeve Eire said...

I Am eating this as i write this and yum-diddley-umptious!!! Amazing, wonderful and the flavours are bang on... will quite possible eat it all changed olives for sweet red peppers and spinach as J Boy hates olives but YUM! :0)