Wether you choose to forage (which I love doing on trails and in town) or you find oddities at a local farmers market,Rosehips on the Kitchen Table is a wonderful and very pretty cookbook. While it is a British book, it covers nearly everything one can find in many parts of the Unites States.
I chose this tasty one pot pasta simply for the color and variety it offered. There is something that is so good when you combine pasta and potatoes. I made the portions bigger than the book called for, but that was the beauty of it – since it was only a guide, it was easily scaled up. Enough for dinner AND lunch the next day that way 😉
Beans with New Potatoes, Pesto and Spaghetti (Adapted from page 91)
- 1 pound green beans
- 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1 pound spaghetti, broken in half
- 1 batch prepared pesto (see below)
- Half of a can black olives, sliced
- Ground black pepper
- Grated Parmesan cheese
Top and tail the beans. Cut potatoes into bite size pieces.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add in green beans, cook for about 5 minutes, until just fork tender. Scoop out beans with a strainer, setting aside. Chop beans into bite size pieces, stash in a large mixing bowl, cover to keep warm.
Bring water back to a boil, add in potatoes, cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until also for tender. Scoop out with a strainer, add into bowl with beans.
Return water to a boil, add in spaghetti, cook as directed on package. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, drain spaghetti.
Add in pesto to hot pasta pot and half the reserved water, stir smooth. Toss with spaghetti, adding as much water as needed to coat (I used all of the water). Gently fold in green beans, potatoes and olives. Season to taste and serve with Parmesan cheese.
Pesto is simple enough to make. For most people. Fresh basil, pine nuts, olive oil and a few other things. But lets take on two things: fresh basil is very, very expensive in the PNW out of season (and by “in season”, well that only occurs in June-August at Farmers Markets!). To make fresh basil, the basil would be around $4. Yes, $4. Ouch. That is not affordable. And then the nuts. I have never been a fan of pine nuts, and while one can use most any nut in pesto, once you start talking allergies, then you had best start making your own!
Dried basil gets sneered at, yet it has a lot of potential. If you have bulk bins of spices nearby, the dried basil, even in organic, will only cost you 50 to 75 cents. Dried herbs are often treated as second class citizens, yet there is potential to them if they are cooked with properly. Oil allows the flavor to release. As well, this pesto is nowhere as oily as commercial pesto is. It can be as smooth as you wish, or leave some texture in, which coats the pasta in a wonderful green way.
Dried Basil & Sunflower Pesto
- ½ cup dried basil (will fill a 4 ounce spice jar tightly)
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 3 tsp granulated garlic
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Add basil, sunflower seeds, garlic and Parmesan cheese in a food processor. Process until seeds are ground finely, scrape sides.
With processor on low, slowly pour in olive oil, scraping sides as needed, until blended.
Let rest for at least 30 minutes before using, for basil to hydrate.
Store in refrigerator tightly sealed.
Makes about ¾ cup pesto.
FTC Disclaimer: We received a review copy.