Serves: Serves 4-6
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon plus ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- 4 tablespoons coarsely chopped unsalted dry-roasted almonds
- 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, stemmed
- ¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- ¼ cup grated pecorino romano cheese
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound Yukon Gold or other boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
- 12 ounces thin green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
- 1 large, ripe tomato, cut into thin wedges, for garnish
Place the garlic, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and 2 tablespoons of the almonds in a large mortar. Pound with the pestle to a smooth paste. Gradually add the basil leaves while pounding, adding more only after each batch has been reduced to a paste. This will take only 2 to 3 minutes.
When all of the basil leaves are pounded to a smooth paste, gradually add both cheeses, stirring with the pestle to blend them with the basil paste. Then drizzle in the olive oil with one hand while stirring and pounding with the pestle in the other hand until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
Fill a 6-quart Dutch oven or other large, wide pan twothirds full of water and bring to a boil. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of salt and the potatoes. Boil, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add the green beans and boil for 6 to 8 minutes, until both the beans and potatoes are tender. Drain in a colander.
Place the beans and potatoes in a large serving bowl, spoon the pesto on top, and fold together gently with a rubber spatula until blended. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of almonds. Garnish the bowl with the tomato wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature.