Pasta with Mint and Parsley Pesto’d Romano Beans

Pasta with Mint & Parsley Pesto’d Romano Beans

This pesto is made with mint and Italian parsley as opposed to traditional basil, making for a fresh flavor that enhances the Italian (a.k.a. Romano) beans used in this dish. The Picual olive oil has a long lasting finish that adds a depth of flavor, too. Serves 4. Recipe by Carmelo Sigona.

“Pasta with Mint & Parsley Pesto’d Romano Beans”

Italian Beans

Romano beans are sometimes labeled as Italian beans. Cook Italian beans longer to get a creamy texture that's perfect for this Pasta with Mint & Parsley Pesto'd Romano Beans dish!

Mint & Parsley Pesto

This makes a batch of pesto, but the dish requires just a few tablespoons. Yields about 4 cups of sauce. **See cook’s note.

  • 1 1/2 cup flat leaf, Italian, parsley (semi-packed), stems removed
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, medium packed
  • 1 1/4 cup Sigona’s Fresh Press Picual Olive Oil from Australia (Click link for more info on this oil)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 2 TBL Pecorino Romano cheese, grated

Add all ingredients together in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

**Cook’s Note: Pesto lasts in fridge for 4-5 days. If you want it to keep, freeze in small portions, such as in ice cube trays, and then store the frozen cubes a large freezer bag. It’ll keep for 4 months. You can defrost and add lots of dishes; it goes well with any cruciferous vegetable, green beans, pasta or sautéed squash.

Beans & Pasta

The bean-to-pasta ratio below is a typical ratio, but I usually do more beans so they’re the star of the dish. For example, I use about 1 cup of cooked pasta to 1 lb. beans. Change the recipe per your dietary needs or desires.

  • 1 lb. Italian (a.k.a. Romano) beans, stems removed and cut on an extreme diagonal
  • ½ one large flat red onion, halved and slivered (the flatter the onion, the sweeter it is.)
  • About 12 oz. Farfalle (bowtie) pasta, about 6 cups cooked
  • 1 1/2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press Picual Olive Oil from Australia
  • Salt & Pepper
  • A few TBL Mint & Parsley Pesto (recipe above)
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, for garnish
  • Parsley or mint, for garnish (optional)

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add beans and boil for 5-7 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and put in an ice bath. Drain when cool. (This is one of the few vegetables I like well done…It brings out the creamy texture of the Italian bean.)

In the same water, add the pasta and cook to al dente. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium, add olive oil and cook the onion until soft, but not caramelized. Incorporate the beans, season with salt and pepper.

Add drained pasta and stir to coat well. Stir in a few TBL of the pesto sauce, one at a time, to coat well, being careful not to over sauce it. Stir well so it’s really incorporated, for about 3 minutes.

Garnish with scissored parsley or mint and a little grated Parmigiano Reggiano if desired.

The Sigona’s Fresh Press Picual Olive Oil from Australia is our featured olive oil of the month for September 2011. Here’s Carmelo to tell you more about this Australian-grown Spanish cultivar and why it’s perfect for this Pasta with Mint & Parsley Pesto’d Romano Beans dish:

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