When there is no one at home on a weekend and I begin to feel the hunger pangs, Pasta is easily the first thing that comes to my mind. My love for pasta and all things Italian began when I started living with an Italian roomate in London who wouldn’t stop waxing lyriical about Italian food and how it was the best in the world…surprise surprise. That coupled with a few trips to the beautiful towns of Venice, Verona, Vicenza, Rome, Milano…over the years has definitely helped to make Italian one of my favourite cuisine and for all good reasons.
In my mind, the best thing about Italian food is the choice of ingredients, its simplicity, fresh flavours and of course quick cooking style, at least when it comes to some of their dishes.Nothing like a bowl of pasta with your favourite sauce with a few veg thrown in to boost up the nutrition quotient to make you feel happy on the inside. This one is a favourite of mine which has been given a slight twist with the addition of green beans, broccoli, toasted almonds, pistachios and drizzled with truffle oil. The best thing about this dish is that you cook the vegetables and pasta together in the same pot which means less washing and more nutrients 🙂
Ingredients ( Serves Two)
- Two fistfuls of dried or fresh linguini ( a little more if you are really hungry)
- 3-4 tablespoons of basil pesto sauce
- Handful of green beans ( strung and chopped lenghtways)
- A few broccoli / broccolini florets
- Couple of tablespoons of almonds and pistachios ( dry toasted and coarsely chopped)
- A few drizzles of truffle oil or extra virgin olive oil
- Shavings of fresh parmesan ( optional)
Bring to heat a pot of water in a stock pot or saucepan with a large pinch of salt. Once you have the water to a rolling boil, slide in your linguine gradually, pushing around the edges in a circular fashion to avoid them from breaking. Once the linguini is completely submerged in the water, use a spatula to separate out the sticks and prevent them from sticking. You can always add a few drops of olive oil to prevent them from sticking but the purists would advise you to not to!! Follow the instructions from the pack to monitor the cooking time but I would recommend you to go purely by touch and feel…half way through the cooking process, which would be about 4-5 minutes, add your green beans and broccoli till they are cooked but retain their crunch and the pasta is al dente. Drain the cooking water through a colander, retaining about half a cup for use later if required.
Return the pasta to the pot, add the pesto and chopped nuts, giving it a good stir and toss to ensure the sauce coats the pasta evenly and the vegetables and nuts are equally distributed. Serve immediately with a drizzle of truffle oil or extra virgin olive oil and few shavings of parmesan. Experience bliss!!