Chef Gianluca Criniti at Nais Italian Kitchen
‘This is a typical dish from Genoa, a city in the northwest of Italy, home of Christopher Columbus. The dish is so simple, yet with a delicious, authentic Italian flavour. Trofie is a variety of pasta that can be found in gourmet grocery stores in Dubai. It dates back to the Crusades, when sailors mixed flour and water with their fingers (‘tra le dita’ in Italian). The finished product became these long, thin strands known as trofie.’
3 cups trofie pasta
½ cup pesto
2 potatoes, cubed
1 cup green beans, chopped into bite-sized pieces
A handful of basil leaves
Salt to taste
For the pesto
3 cups basil leaves
2 cloves of garlic
½ cup pine nuts
½ cup olive oil
3 tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
2 tbsp Pecorino Romano, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
1 To make the pesto, blend the basil and pine nuts in a food processor. Add the garlic and pulse a few times.
2 Slowly drizzle in the oil, blending until creamy. Add both types of cheese, plus salt and pepper to taste.
3 Bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the potatoes and boil until slightly al dente.
4 Add the pasta and cook for eight to ten minutes. Add the chopped green beans and continue to cook.
5 Once the pasta and veg are cooked, remove from the heat and drain.
6 Mix the pesto sauce with the pasta, potatoes and green beans. Serve with a few fresh basil leaves.