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Fusilli con Pesto alla Genovese

Serves 4.

Note: Fusilli is corkscrew pasta. The fusilli of Felitto (a town of 1,235 inhabitants) and those of Gioi (pop. 1,232) are protected as traditional products of the Campania region. The fact that these two small towns are all of 6 miles apart yet make two distinctly different forms of fusilli underscores the deeply rooted local quality of traditional Italian foods. From "Serafina: Modern Italian Cuisine for Everyday Home Cooking," by Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato (Rizzoli, 2022).

• 1 medium potato

• 5 to 6 oz. green beans

• 5 c. basil leaves

• 1 3/4 c. pine nuts, divided

• 1 clove garlic

• 1/4 c. plus 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• Salt to taste

• 3 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano, divided

• 1 lb. fusilli


Bring a small pot of water to a boil and boil the potato until it is easily pierced with a paring knife. Drain, and when it is cool enough to handle, peel and dice it. Bring another pot of water to a boil and blanch the green beans, then drain and cut them in half at an angle.

Set aside a few pretty basil leaves for garnish. In a blender combine the remaining basil, 1 1/2 cups pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth, with only a few green flecks left. Then add 2 ounces of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and blend until thick.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta and in a large serving bowl toss with the pesto, diced potato and green beans. Scatter on the remaining 1/4 cup pine nuts and grate the remaining 1 ounce Parmigiano over the pasta.

Garnish with the reserved basil before serving.