Monday, September 3, 2012

Trofie Wife! Trofie Pasta with Fresh Basil Cream and Green Beans

One of my favorite flavors is basil pesto on a noodle. It is so overbearingly delicious. I mean pesto dominates everything it touches but also leaves room from shouts of flavor from beneath it's green delicious blanket. My friend Todd once made a homemade pesto that was to die for. But being from Wisconsin he also added some cream to the sauce which I took as brilliant.

I recently returned from a trip to the Midwest for a wedding and I was reminded once again of the Midwest's love for cheese. Wisconsin, especially, is a place where they take dairy to the extreme. They basically add dairy to everything except Sushi. Although, it has been done before, believe me. Wisconsin broadly described is a cheese and dairy lovers paradise. I mean even the burgers there are called "butter burgers" for heaven's sake! While I was working in Wisconsin at the Fireside Theatre in Fort Atikison, Wisconsin, I had the pleasure of seeing a lot of dishes during our potluck sundays which involved the locals bringing in the dairy goodness. My post about my White Enchiladas comes from that time. and if those aren't cheesy goodness i don't know what is!

So I thought about making a pasta dish that would be a little more sophisticated than just pesto and cream. I thought about a basil infused cream and I thought about my love of monochromatic dishes. So to stay along the green lines and stay with summer's bounty I thought why not add some fresh green beans to the dish and to add more flavor some smoked cheese as an accent. I suppose in the fall and winter you could add asparagus tips instead of the beans, but summer seemed a good time for the grean beans. Also I have learned that cooking fresh basil can be tricky. You have to get the green to set up in hot water by blanching it quickly and if you over cook it it will turn brown. The same principle applies if you saute it, so I knew I would have to work on keeping it green.

This recipe is so simple yet comes out so elegantly. If you want to impress people, even Italians, with your pasta proneness, this is a good recipe to start with. I also love the the fresh green color and the vibrant monochromatic simplicity of the dish. So try it and keep a little of summer's green with you into the fall. Enjoy ya'll.

Trofie Pasta with Basil Cream and Green Beans
makes 4 to 6 portions


1 pound dried trofie pasta
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 pounds of fresh skinny green beans
1 1/2 cups packed basil leaves
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup grated smoked Mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt and some white pepper to taste


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. reduce to simmer and add green beans. Let cook till al dente about 7 mins.
Remove from the hot water and plunge into ice cold water to stop the cooking
When cool cut the beans into thirds.
Bring water back to a boil add pasta and cook for 7 to 9 mins or till pasta is done.
Meanwhile saute 1 cup of the basil till soft in the butter ( about 2 mins.) add the cream and the remaining basil and cook two more mins. Transfer mixture to a blender and puree till smooth.Add salt if desired.
Place the sauce in a large bowl
Add the beans and the hot pasta and toss till coated.
Add the cheese and toss serve it with chives and parsley leaves.

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