Spaghetti with Walnut Pesto, Green Beans and Potatoes

I first tasted this delicious healthy green dish in Sardinia but have since found out that it originates from Liguria.  I have adapted it and added the edamame for extra protein.  Traditionally trofie pasta is used but this is harder to get and I prefer to use wholewheat or spelt spaghetti anyway

Ingredients for two

a bunch of basil, about 50g (one and 3/4 ounces)

90g (3 ounces) of walnuts

2 cloves of garlic

the juice of half a large lemon

50g (one and 3/4 ounces) of dry wholemeal bread (slightly stale crusty bread is good)

150ml (5 and a 1/4 fluid ounces) of olive oil

a teaspoon of coarse salt

a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

200g (7 ounces) of fine green beans (French beans) trimmed

60g (2 ounces) of frozen edamame (green soya beans)

200g (7ounces) of potatoes

200g of wholewheat spaghetti

salad leaves and finely sliced spring onions to serve


Put a large pan of salted water on to boil for the pasta

Add the following to a food processor or large mortar (that has an accompanying pestle!):-the walnuts, the garlic roughly chopped, lemon juice, the salt and pepper, the olive oil, the bread torn into pieces.

Wash the basil, pick off the leaves and add these and pulse (or grind) to a paste

Scub and chop the potatoes into one inch dice (2 and a 1/2 cm) and drop them into the boiling water

Cook for five minutes

Add the spaghetti to the pot alongside the potatoes

Cook for a further five minutes

Add the green beans and edamame to the spaghetti and potatoes

Cook for a further four minutes

(So the total cooking time is 14 minutes for the potatoes, 9 minutes for the spaghetti and 4 minutes for the green beans and edamame)

Spoon out three to five tablespoons of the cooking water and add it to the pesto paste in the processor bowl (or mortar) and stir through to loosen it

Drain the pasta, potatoes and beans, divide into bowls and spoon over the pesto.  Using tongs lift the strands until the pesto coats them

Serve with the salad leaves and sliced spring onions.  Buon appetito!

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