I usually make the pesto sauce ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator with a thin layer of olive oil on top to keep it from discoloring. That way, I can throw the dish together in twenty minutes when I get home form work or from church. If. fresh basil isn’t available, Costco sells a good pesto sauce (I always add some black pepper to it, though). This is not a sponsored post. If I have a favorite ingredient, I just list it and explain why ;).
4 cups fresh basil leaves (stems removed)
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup. lightly roasted pine nuts (roast in a dry frying pan)
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
In a food processor or high powered blender, add the first six ingredients in the order listed. Pulse until all of the ingredients have chopped a little, and then slowly add the olive oil and continue to blend until a smooth paste is achieved. If you plan on storing the pesto, reserve a little bit of the oil for spreading across the top.
When you’re ready to assemble the dish:
3 red potatoes, diced into small pieces
1 14.5 box of Barilla Plus Farfalle pasta (I use this kind because it has added protein)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. fresh green beans, stem caps removed and snapped into 2-inch sections
In a large stockpot or sauce pan, bring 4-6 quarts of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and set the timer for 10 minutes. Prepare the green beans whilst you wait for the potatoes. After ten minutes, add the box of pasta and set the timer for 7 minutes. When the timer goes off, add the green beans (frozen green beans work as well). Boil for five more minutes.
Meanwhile, spread about half of the pesto sauce in the bottom of a very large serving bowl or pasta bowl. When the potato, pasta, green bean combo has finished cooking (everything should be tender but not mushy), remove from the burner and drain, reserving about a half a cup of liquid. Add the pasta/potatoes/green beans to the serving bowl and then pour the rest of the pesto sauce on top. Mix well. If needed, add some of the reserved liquid to bowl. Garnish with roasted red pepper slices for flavor and pizzaz.