Pesto Pasta Liguria with Potatoes and Green Beans

Corzetti pasta Liguria with pesto, potatoes and green beans.

corzetti pesto pasta Liguria with potatoes and green beans

Pasta alla ligure con patate e fagiolini.

In the same way that Bolognese sauce is omnipresent in Bologna’s homes and restaurants, basil pesto or pesto Genovese is ubiquitous in Ligurian cuisine. In fact, it’s practically a national symbol in Liguria, the Northern Italian region it comes from. People in Liguria are not only very proud of their pesto, but also quite fanatic about how it should be made and how to serve it. This pesto pasta Liguria with potatoes and green beans recipe is one of the most traditional ways they eat pesto in Liguria. The pesto, which is always homemade, is served with green beans, potatoes and pasta.

(Click to go straight to recipe and comment)

corzetti pesto pasta Liguria with potatoes and green beans

The official basil pesto recipe.

Also like Bolognese in Bologna, basil pesto has an official recipe! This was  published by the Genoa Chamber of Commerce  and is composed of 7 ingredients; Ligurian basil leaves, Mediterranean pine-nuts, Vessalico garlic cloves, Ligurian extra virgin olive oil, coarse sea salt and two types of cheese, aged Parmesan and Pecorino from Sardinia. Of course, most of us have to use locally sourced ingredients such as basil leaves garlic and olive oil. It may also not be possible to find both cheeses. I actually often make it with just Parmesan (but don’t tell anyone from Genoa!).

Ingredients in basket for pesto pasta Liguria with potatoes and green beans

Pesto Pasta Liguria with potatoes and green beans.

Pasta with pesto can be found in every restaurant in Liguria. The pasta is usually trenette (similar to linguine), trofie or corzetti and is dressed with just pesto and grated cheese or, as in this recipe, with potatoes and green beans as well.  Normally just called pesto pasta Liguria with potatoes and green beans (pasta alla ligure con patate e fagiolini) , this dish is also known as pesto avvantaggiato.  Most often the pasta, potatoes and beans are cooked in the same pot, sometimes one ingredient at a time, but also all together. Then everything is tossed with basil pesto.

homemade basil pesto in marble mortar

A one-pot recipe.

This pesto pasta Liguria with potatoes and green beans is a very easy dish to make as you only need one cooking pot and the pesto is, of course, made from raw ingredients. Some people recommend salting the cooking water quite heavily. This is because the salt is said to help maintain the bright colour of the beans and keep the potatoes firm!

Whether you cook the pasta, potatoes and green beans together depends on individual choice. However, if using fresh pasta, this definitely needs to be cooked alone or added only 2-3 minutes before the beans and potatoes are ready. I cooked the vegetables and pasta separately, but in the same water, as I find it’s easier to get the cooking times right.

homemade basil pesto in marble mortar

Making the pesto.

Traditionally basil pesto is made with a pestle and mortar. However, you can also use a blender or mini food processor. Alternatively, crush the pine nuts with a pestle and mortar or a hammer and use a blender for the rest. But, mix the cheese in after with a fork or wooden spoon. This gives the pesto a more authentic texture.

boiled potatoes and green beans in white bowl and homemade basil pesto in small white bowl

The Pasta.

I used corzetti pasta medallions for this pesto pasta Liguria recipe. Corzetti, also called croxetti, are an ancient type of pasta dating back to the Middle Ages. The designs on the pasta are created with a wooden mold or stamp. This stamp has two designs engraved on it (one for each face of the pasta medallion). In the past, noble families had their family coat of arms engraved into the stamp! You can read more about this unique pasta on my corzetti or croxetti post.

boiled potatoes, green beans and pesto in frying pan for pasta Liguria

You can buy dried corzetti or make them yourself (I used dried).There are companies which sell these stamps online such as this company called Florentine Touch . They sell corzetti stamps through Etsy. You can even order your own design! If you can’t find corzetti, trofie or linguine are traditional pasta partners for basil pesto with potatoes and green beans. Alternatively fettuccine or penne work well too.

Dried corzetti on white plate for pasta Liguria with pesto, potatoes and green beans.

Let me know if you try this recipe!

Whichever pasta you use, I’m sure you’ll love this typical Ligurian way to eat pasta with pesto. And, if you do try this pesto pasta Liguria with green beans and potatoes, please let me know what you think. You can comment here on the blog or on The Pasta Project Facebook page. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Buon appetito!

(See the recipe on the next page. Just scroll down and click 2)

corzetti pesto pasta Liguria with potatoes and green beans

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  • Avatar
    Annalisa Fran
    June 19, 2018 1:01 pm

    This looks like the real traditional Pasta al Pesto recipe! I feel it would be a great topping also for pizza and lasagna 🙂

    • admin
      June 22, 2018 11:10 am

      Thanks Annalisa! Yes this is a very traditional pesto recipe, but as you say pesto is great on pizza or lasagne too. I also like to eat it as a dip or in sandwiches! All the best from Verona. Jacqui

  • Avatar
    Mayuri Patel
    June 19, 2018 11:54 am

    I wouldn’t tell anyone from Genoa that you used parmesan only if you don’t tell them that sometimes I have to replace the pine nuts with cashew nuts;) A tempting pasta dish and just the right kind for me, vegetarian. I’ve not used potato with pasta as yet…wonder why.

    • admin
      June 22, 2018 11:12 am

      Haha Mayuri don’t worry I won’t tell anyone! I love the sound of using cashew nuts too! Pasta and potato is a good combination and there are quite a few Italian recipes for it. Def worth trying! Happy weekend from Verona! Jacqui

  • Avatar
    Chef Mireille
    June 18, 2018 8:12 am

    pasta is my fave pasta sauce and this is a perfect combination of ingredients with it

    • admin
      June 22, 2018 4:14 pm

      I love pesto too Mireille! It goes so well on many dishes from pasta to pizza! But this traditional way to serve it is, as you say, perfect! Happy weekend from Verona! Jacqui

  • Avatar
    Sara Welch
    June 17, 2018 5:40 am

    Oh this had my tummy rumbling! I would love some of this right now!

    • admin
      June 22, 2018 4:16 pm

      Thanks for your comment Sara! Yes this is really mouth-watering! Such a yummy way to serve pesto and pasta! All the best! Jacqui

  • Avatar
    Nicole Hood
    June 17, 2018 12:51 am

    Oh my gosh that pasta is beautiful! I love all the veggies in this dish and that pesto looks delish!

    • admin
      June 22, 2018 4:17 pm

      Grazie dear Nicole! Corzetti is a fantastic pasta and actually perfect with this traditional combo of pesto, potatoes and beans! Def one to try! Greetings from Verona! Jacqui

  • Avatar
    Polly Amora
    June 15, 2018 9:20 pm

    OMG that looks so delicious! I never thought potatoes and pesto would mix well. I’ll be sure to try it out next! Thank you for the post!

  • Avatar
    June 15, 2018 2:16 pm

    Love the veggies in this dish, definitely worth a try. Green beans and potatoes are a great combination, thanks for sharing!

  • Avatar
    June 15, 2018 11:52 am

    Absolutely love this. It looks like my kind of food. I have not tried potatoes and green beans in my pasta yet but I sure will be experimenting now. You gave me a great idea for a recipe. I can’t wait to try it out. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Avatar
    June 15, 2018 8:13 am

    Oh wow! I have never seen this shape of pasta before! How fun is that! I love the way you combine potatoes with pasta. Can’t wait to try 🙂

  • Avatar
    June 15, 2018 5:19 am

    Pasta and green beans is something I never tried before. But it sure looks appealing, and I will have to give it a try! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Avatar
    Tia Mckinzie
    June 15, 2018 4:26 am

    I am not the biggest pesto fan but i will have to give this a shot!

  • Avatar
    June 15, 2018 2:33 am

    I have never had pesto quite like this before, but I love trying traditional preparations! Definitely adding this to the list of things to make soon!

  • Avatar
    June 15, 2018 2:10 am

    I love pasta! and I just wanna say this is perfect!

  • Avatar
    sondria Harp
    June 15, 2018 2:09 am

    This is so fun. I’ve never had pasta with potatoes. I’ve had gnocchi but never the pasta and the potatoes separate but in the same dish. I’m so curious I have to try this.

  • Avatar
    Wander With Ola
    June 15, 2018 1:07 am

    I’ve never tried pasta that is combined with green beans before. However, this pasta looks awesome and I will definitely have to try this recipe!

  • Avatar
    Nina Kasper
    June 14, 2018 11:19 pm

    Wow! I am on a Keto diet right now but I think I am saving this for my cheat night which is coming very soon. This looks amazing and delicious!!!

  • Avatar
    June 14, 2018 7:15 pm

    I don’t usually like potatoes and pasta together, but this looks SO beautiful and full of flavor. Those green beans are perfect too – one of my favorite summer vegetables too. I’m going to have to look for that kind of pasta now. 🙂

  • Avatar
    June 14, 2018 2:15 pm

    My kind of meal

  • Avatar
    R U S S
    June 14, 2018 12:54 pm

    I have not tried Corzetti pasta, but I do, however, love Basil Pesto! For one I know that it’s made fresh and second, it goes well with chili flakes and shaved parmesan cheese. The potato is a good twist to this recipe. Can’t wait to try it at home.

  • Avatar
    June 14, 2018 7:56 am

    This looks absolutely amazing – I just think I found the perfect recipe for my dinner this weekend, thanks!

  • Avatar
    June 8, 2018 7:00 pm

    I love this pasta! The fact that they sell the stamps is really fun! This pasta looks so delicious with the potato and green beans! I have to give this a try!

    • admin
      June 12, 2018 4:08 pm

      Thanks Beth! I’m dying to buy a corzetti stamp and make my own corzetti pasta. Am sure it will be amazing! Kisses Jacqui

  • Avatar
    June 8, 2018 1:04 pm

    I always make my own pesto these days, just so much fresher and tastier. Looks great with the beans and potatoes as well.

    • admin
      June 12, 2018 4:10 pm

      Thank you Caroline! Homemade pesto is definitely the tastiest, and healthier too. It goes really well with potatoes and green beans. In fact, this is one of the most traditional ways to serve pesto with pasta in Liguria. Def one to try! All the best from Verona!

  • Avatar
    June 7, 2018 8:55 pm

    Oh, this recipe is heaven on Earth. I definitely must make this – kids will be so happy. I’m not sure I’ll find the corzetti but will use trofies- I love the addition of potatoes. That makes it sooo extra yummy. I make a similar recipe with new potatoes but no pasta. Never thought of mixing potatoes with pasta. Will do from now. Divine! Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe.

    • admin
      June 12, 2018 4:12 pm

      Thank you dearest Ramona! Trofie is also a traditional pasta partner for pesto, so it will go perfectly!Hugs from Verona! Jacqui

  • Avatar
    June 7, 2018 6:36 pm

    molto originale, già mangiata, cooked by my wife

    • admin
      June 12, 2018 4:12 pm

      Grazie amore mio!

  • Avatar
    Marisa Franca
    June 7, 2018 11:58 am

    I grew up on pesto — my mamma would add it to potatoes and her grilled fish. I’m from the Trieste area. The recipe looks and sounds delicious. You can’t beat great ingredients and together they certainly add to the dish. The green bean addition to the potatoes really adds to the flavor and texture.

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