By Luke Chavez
The Times 

Pasta with Green Beans and Almond Gremolata

My Recipes|Luke Chavez

 

September 14, 2023

Luke Chavez

Pasta with Green Beans and Almond Gremolata

Overwhelmed by summer squash and tomatoes, I occasionally forget the diverse list of things that we planted from seed in the spring. This week, John came back from the garden with a colander full of beautiful purple-green beans, an heirloom variety I had totally forgotten was climbing up our bean trellis. Paired with sweet roasted cherry tomatoes and fresh herbaceous flavors, the green beans in this pasta beautifully reflect the lovely late summer sunshine we have been having.

Ingredients:

For the gremolata:

¼ cup sliced almonds

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Zest of one lemon

1 garlic clove, finely grated

Salt

For the pasta:

1 pint cherry tomatoes

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more

1 pound pasta, such as cavatappi, gemelli, or penne

¾ pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 to 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced lengthwise

¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino, plus more for serving

Salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the cherry tomatoes in a mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread the tomatoes on a foil lined baking sheet. Place pan in the hot oven and roast tomatoes until they are blistered and beginning to burst, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Prepare a large pot of generously salted water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced almonds to the dry pan and toast, stirring constantly to prevent burning, about 5 to 6 minutes. Immediately, add the toasted almonds to a mixing bowl with the chopped parsley, lemon zest, grated garlic, and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine evenly and then set aside.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook to al dente per package instructions. About 2 minutes before the pasta cooking time is done, add the green beans. Before draining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the beans and pasta well.

While the pasta and beans are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy pot or Dutch-oven. Add the sliced garlic and crushed pepper flakes, cooking until lightly golden and fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Next, carefully pour ½ cup of the pasta cooking water to the garlic and oil. Watch out for hot splatters. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the pasta, beans, and butter to the pot, stirring to quickly melt the butter. Add the cheese and another ¼ cup of the pasta water. Stir vigorously to melt the cheese and create a glossy sauce. Then stir in the roasted tomatoes and all their juices. If needed, add more pasta water in splashes to get an emulsified sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt if needed. A finishing drizzle of olive oil over the top brings it all together.

Serve immediately, sprinkling the almond gremolata over the top of each serving. Have a bowl of more grated cheese to pass around the table.

Notes:

This beautiful pasta, bursting with fresh flavors, is a wonderful way to celebrate the late-summer harvest. If you have other fresh herbs, such as basil or rosemary, you could add them to the gremolata.

Make sure you have all your ingredients measured and prepped when you start cooking, as this recipe comes together quickly.

This is a very satisfying vegetarian pasta dish but would also be lovely as a side to grilled sausages or chicken.

Enjoy!

 

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