Stracci ai pesto
“In the summer when basil is aplenty, it is time to make beautiful pesto, which goes well with home-made pasta, especially stracci. These are literally pasta ‘rags’ which are obtained by roughly cutting a smooth pasta sheet. The unevenness of the pasta is particularly suited to a pesto sauce. The beauty of this dish comes from the smart use of a good pecorino cheese, which is more salty than most other hard cheeses.
80 g pine nuts
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 bunches basil, leaves only
200 ml extra-virgin olive oil, not too bitter
100 g pecorino toscano cheese, grated
80 g wafer-thin slices potato, about 2 mm thickness, virtually see-through
300 g Egg Pasta, cut into roughly shaped pieces
80 g green beans, strings removed and pre-cooked until al dente
freshly grated pecorino
extra-virgin olive oil
To make the Pesto, put the pine nuts and garlic in the food processor and pulse. Add the basil and pulse, adding the oil gradually, until all ingredients are combined to a nice, creamy consistency. Add the cheese at the end and a little more oil if required.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the potatoes and pasta and cook for a couple of minutes, until the pasta is soft and silky. As long as the potato slices are thin enough, they should be cooked in this time too.
Place half of the pesto in a serving bowl with a couple of tablespoons of the pasta cooking water. Toss in the pasta, potatoes and beans and stir to combine. Add more pesto until it is the consistency you like and finish with extra cheese and a drizzle of oil, to taste.