Friday, September 16, 2011

Pasta with purple potatoes

Purple potatoes - they are absolute beauties and believe it or not are rich in antioxidants which comes from  their purple color. Otherwise they are like russet potatoes in texture - roasted they get a crisp exterior and a crumbly soft interior. They are great simply roasted with olive oil and rosemary, but we like to add potatoes to our pasta.
Pasta with pesto, beans and potatoes is a fairly common combination, but this one is better than most, since the potatoes are roasted instead of being boiled. Roasting enhances the flavor of the potatoes and the crisp crust from roasting adds another texture to the dish.


Penne with beans, purple potatoes and pesto

12 oz purple potatoes (you could use other potatoes, but it wont be so beautiful)
12 oz green beans or haricot vert
1 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cups mezze penne (any short cut pasta will work for this recipe)
4 tablespoon basil pesto (The recipe yields 1 cup - freeze the rest). Store bought works, but not the ones from the bottle
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for the table

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Place a baking sheet in the middle rack for preheating as well.
  2. In the meantime scrub the potatoes clean with a vegetable brush and remove the eyes with a peeler. Cut the potatoes into 1 inch cubes and toss them with olive oil, 2/3 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper. Once the oven has reached the right temperature, remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet. They should sizzle as you place them, otherwise the baking sheet is not enough. Preheating the baking sheet prevents the potatoes from sticking. Roast for about 25 to 30 minutes turning once during roasting. Remove and let it cool for 10 minutes.
  3. While the potatoes are roasting, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for blanching the beans and boiling the pasta.
  4. Trim the beans and cut them into 2 inch pieces. Add them to the salted boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place them in a bowl large enough the toss the pasta.
  5. Bring the water to a boil once again and add the penne. Cook as per package instruction about 7 to 9 minutes. Drain and add to the bowl containing the beans. Add the pesto and 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss well to combine. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Finally add the roasted potatoes and toss lightly. Serve hot with Parmesan cheese.
Serves 3.

I serve this with a salad. You could try the Endive and apple salad with goat cheese.

Note: If you liked this recipe, you may like to try lemon pappardelle with pesto, potatoes and peas

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