This is my interpretation of the classic Italian dish ‘trofie al pesto’ – the lockdown issue. I had half a pack of absolutely delightful messicane pasta in my – now meticulously reorganised – pantry. I also had a jar of foraged wild garlic pesto in my fridge, some leftover boiled new potatoes, some limp wild rocket, a few fresh basil leaves and some finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. So here you have it ‘date night pasta supper’ sorted. We still do ‘date night’ by the way even through we are at home. It’s always pasta because that’s easier to pull together after an actual for real ‘date night’ when we used to go out for a couple of glasses of wine to talk about our week and plan the weekend. What heady days they were.
350g messicane pasta
200g of fresh wild garlic pesto (or you might like to try my Umbrian rocket and walnut pesto)
6 small new potatoes, boiled and sliced
50g wild rocket leaves
Fresh basil, leaves picked
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt flakes and freshly ground mixed peppercorns
Pine kernels, toasted, to garnish
Pumpkin seeds, toasted, to garnish
Pul biber, to garnish (optional)
Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
How I make it
Bring a large pan of water to the boil add plenty of salt and drop the pasta in. Cook according to the instructions on the packet, around 6-7 minutes so it’s just al dente.
In the meantime heat a large frying pan, add a glug of olive oil and gently stir in the potatoes until they are warmed through. Add the pesto and season to your taste. Take the pan off the heat, add the leaves and cover with a lid.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it and carefully stir it to the potato mixture.
Turn everything out onto a warmed platter and garnish with the pine kernels, pumpkin seeds and pul biber (if using). Serve immediately with a bowl of the Parmigiano-Reggiano.