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Trenette with Pesto and Haricots Verts

This dish from Italy's Ligurian region is traditionally made with pesto, potatoes, green beans and a thin, flat pasta called trenette—Italian for ribbons—that resembles linguine. Barbara Lynch omits the potatoes.

Plus: More Pasta Recipes and Tips

  • Servings: 6

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  • 3/4 cup pine nuts (about 3 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 1/2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound trenette or linguine
  • 1/2 pound haricots verts, halved crosswise


  1. Set a small skillet over moderately high heat. Add 1/4 cup of the pine nuts and toast, stirring constantly, until golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, pulse the remaining 1/2 cup of pine nuts with the garlic until finely chopped. Add the basil, parsley, butter and olive oil and process until the basil is minced. Add the Parmesan and process to a thick puree. Season the pesto sauce with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until almost al dente. Add the haricots verts and cook for about 1 minute longer. Drain well.
  4. In a warmed large bowl, toss the hot pasta and haricots verts with the pesto until well coated. Sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts and serve.

Make Ahead

The pesto sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 days with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface.

Suggested Pairing

The creamy, nutty pesto calls for a substantial, fresh, spicy white made from the Pigato grape. Try one from Italy's Ligurian region.

Contributed By Published March 2001

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