There are many times throughout the week that I want something hearty, but without meat. I want a main course, or heck even a side dish that would go well with things like roasted chicken, and this is one of those dishes. You have to love a dish that is really simple to put together, yet one that is complex in flavor, and texture. I knew that my wife, and one of my kids (maybe two), would really love this pasta dish. What ended up happening is that I really, really was the one who loved this pasta with pest, potatoes, and green beans.
Let’s get started.
- 1 cup of fresh basil, packed
- 1/3 cup dry roasted almonds, lightly toasted
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
- 3 red potatoes, cubed
- 1/2 pound gemini pasta, cooked al dente
- 2 cups green beans, trimmed and cut in half
- 2 tbsp canola oil
Start by adding the cubed potatoes to a pot of cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes or until fork tender. During this time, make a simple pesto.
To a food processor, add the basil, and lightly toasted almonds. You can go traditional by adding garlic, and pine nuts, but I wanted to go simple here and the basil and almonds were really, really good. Pulse the basil and almonds, then slowly add in the olive oil, and salt, until you have a nice pesto consistency.
Move the pesto into a small bowl, and set to the side.
Boil your pasta until al dente, drain, and place into a mixing bowl.
A couple of more steps and you are about ready to serve.
To a sauté pan, add about 1 cup of water, and the green beans. Bring to simmer, and cook the beans for about 3-4 minutes. I love the snap of the green bean for this pasta.
Next, add the canola oil to a large skillet, and bring it to a medium-high heat.
Add the cooked potatoes, and cook until they are golden brown. Season with a pinch of salt.
Drain the beans and add them to the pasta.
Add the pesto, then top with the hot, and slightly crisp potatoes. Give everything a good stir, taste, and season with any additional salt.
The great thing about this pasta salad is that you can serve it cold, at room temperature, or warm. Who doesn’t love that?
When my daughter got home for school, she always asks two questions; what’s for dinner and can I have a snack? Then she saw the pasta salad as the centerpiece of the dinner table. She asked if she could try it (I never turn down that interest), and she totally fell in love. My boys on the other hand were not as excited. I mean pasta with green pesto flecks on it, seriously? What they did not know is they totally missed out on an awesome pasta salad that was not only simple, but super packed with awesome flavor and texture.
Give this one a try if you are going meatless during the week, and are looking for a dish that is not only hearty, but perfect to eat as leftovers. Hope you enjoy!