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The Original Pasta with Pesto

Pasta, potatoes, pasta water, butter and pesto ready to be beaten together

Pasta, potatoes, pasta water, butter and pesto ready to be beaten together

This is a more involved Cooks Illustrated recipe from the July August 2013 edition. Here is the link. You may need an online subscription to view the recipe.

This recipe is very interesting for many reasons:

  • The pine nuts and unpeeled garlic are toasted in a 10-inch skillet. The toasted garlic had less of a bite and strong flavor as the fresh garlic does.
  • Boiled Potatoes are added
  • Potatoes are cooked in a large quantity of water. This water is then used to cook the pasta
  • A large quantity of pasta water is added back to the pasta, pesto and potatoes (over 1 cup)
  • The pasta and all it’s ingredients are beaten together as the final step. I have seen this kind of beating of the Risotto ala Milanese by our friends the Nebuloni’s in Milan.

I made this without the green beans and I used mini penne instead of the gemelli.

It tasted heavenly. The double batch I made was sent home as leftovers. Pasta with Pesto is a family favorite, so it was natural to make enough of this new version for leftovers.

2 responses »

  1. This was so good! I have a subscription to Cook’s Illustrated so I looked it up. Only used two pots despite all the ingredients and cooking steps. We had gotten fresh beans and basil in our farm box.


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