Tagliatelle verdi with Genoese sauce

Dining with Kristatos in the short story ‘Risico’, James Bond orders tagliatelle verdi with a Genoese sauce, which is described as improbably concocted from basil, garlic and fir cones. The sauce is better known as pesto, which, though a common sight on supermarket shelves, is still best prepared fresh.

Recipe (serves two)

  • 200g Tagliatelle verdi
For the sauce
  • 1 tbsp pine kernels
  • 1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 20g fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 20g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 60ml olive oil
  • Freshly-ground pepper

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Meanwhile, crush the pine kernels in a mortar. Transfer the ground kernels to a bowl and mix in the garlic, basil, cheese and a pinch or two of pepper. Add the olive oil gradually and continue to blend. Alternatively, place uncrushed pine kernels and unchopped basil and garlic in a food processer along with the grated cheese and the pepper. As the ingredients combine, slowly pour in the olive oil. Set the sauce to one side. Add the pasta to the boiling water and boil for 5-6 minutes until cooked. Drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Add the sauce and fold it into the pasta over a low heat for a minute or two until the pasta is thoroughly coated. Serve.

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