Maccheroni Al Ferretto with Pesto, Rocket & Potatoes

Normally in Ireland I do my grocery shopping at Tesco or M&S, but one day I had some time to kill, and I walked into Aldi. They had an Italian week running, and I left the store with a bag full of Italian goodies. I don't do spontaneous shopping sprees that often, but I am a sucker for Italian products and their elegant packaging, so this was bound to happen. 

If you knew me, you would now that one of the things I get the most excited about in a grocery store is pasta. I am intrigued by its endless shape and size possibilities. The best gift for me is a bag of pasta that I have never seen before. Or any bag of pasta in a posh packaging :-) I probably like pasta only because it looks so good! 

So I saw this Maccheroni Al Ferretto in Aldi, and it landed in my basket in a millisecond. But the rest wasn't that easy. The Amaretti biscuits I got that day were gone in one evening. The sundried tomatoes didn't last long either. But this bag of pasta waited in my cupboard unusually long. Maybe it was too interesting to serve it with a simple tomato sauce, or I forgot about it. Either-or, I couldn't come up with anything special for a long time until last weekend.

This dish is a carb overload, or heaven, however you want to call it. It's not something you would eat every evening, but once in a while you can let yourself go and have fun with your food. This is a spin on a Ligurian dish called Trofie al pesto, patate e fagiolini, with a substitute of rocket in place of green beans, and a bigger pasta in place of Trofie. Overall, a very tasty dish worth making!

Ingredients (2 people):
  • 250-300g pasta
  • 300g baby potatoes
  • 2 cups arugula/rocket
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts
  • ½ fresh pest

For the pesto (1 cup):
  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • 2 small garlic cloves½ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp parmesan
  • salt and pepper

Start by cooking potatoes until soft. Add this stage also toast your pine nuts.

Then cook pasta according to the instructions. I used maccheroni al ferretto but you can use any pasta of your choice.

When potatoes have cooled a little bit, cut each in half.

While pasta is cooking, place all pesto ingredients in a food processor and blitz until the desired consistency. I like my pesto chunky, so I blitz it just a couple of times, but you can make it as smooth as you like. Add salt and pepper to your liking, and also you can add more parmesan. Taste your pesto before taking it out of the food processor, so that you can always add more seasoning and mix it in.

Once pasta is ready and drained, place it back in to the pot, and add the fresh pesto. Mix it well until all the pasta is covered. Add the rocket and the potatoes, and mix it again to incorporate all. Finish off with toasted pine nuts and sprinkle of parmesan.



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