Pesto Pasta Liguria with Potatoes and Green Beans

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5 from 11 votes
Pesto pasta Liguria with potatoes and green beans
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
45 mins

A tasty traditional way to eat pesto pasta from Liguria, the home of basil pesto

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Liguria, Northern Italy
Keyword: corzetti, Italian food, pasta, pesto, vegetarian
Servings: 4
Author: Jacqueline De Bono
  • 320 g corzetti pasta or Trofie or trenette
  • 120 g fresh green beans
  • 120 g potatoes You can use red potatoes. I like new potatoes.
For the pesto
  • 4 handfuls fresh basil leaves (preferably young leaves) in Liguria they use Basilico Genovese D.O.P.
  • 30 g pine nuts I like to toast mine.
  • 50 g Parmesan In Liguria they use aged Parmesan
  • 30 g Pecorino from Sardinia
  • 1-2 garlic cloves peeled. In Liguria they use garlic from Vessalico
  • coarse sea salt for pasta and to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil as required
Make the pesto
  1. If it’s possible, choose medium sized young basil leaves (brighter green). Rinse the leaves under water and dry them with paper towels. Dry fry the pine nuts for 2-3 minutes if you prefer to have them toasted.

Using a pestle and mortar
  1. Peel the garlic cloves and put them into a mortar with pine nuts.

    Grind until you have a paste Then add some basil leaves, and a little coarse salt, and 3 tbsp of olive oil.

    Keep working with the pestle, while continuing to add more basil leaves and olive oil until the pesto is smooth and consistent. Finally, transfer to a bowl and add the cheeses and stir well. 

Using a blender or mini food processor
  1. You can either put all the ingredients in the blender and pulse a few seconds at a time until you have the right consistency. Don’t keep pulsing for too long at once as the blender will heat up and this can spoil the basil.

    Alternatively, crush the pine nuts in a pestle and mortar or with a hammer. Blend the olive, oil, basil, salt and garlic until you have the right consistency. Add the cheese and crushed pine nuts after. Mix well with a fork or wooden spoon. 

Cooking the other ingredients
  1. Wash the vegetables, then top and tail the green beans and cut them into 2 or 3 pieces. Peel the potatoes and cut into cubes.

    Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil, then add the sea salt.

  2. Either boil the vegetables along with pasta until all are “al dente”, or cook separately.

    You can cook the beans and potatoes together and then remove them to a bowl with a slotted spoon. (I did this)

  3. Finally, cook the pasta al dente in the vegetable water according to the instructions on the packet. Save a cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta.

  4. Mix the pesto with the potatoes and green beans in a frying pan over a low heat for a minute or in a bowl. Then add the drained pasta and a little pasta cooking water. Mix everything together carefully and serve with extra grated cheese and some more toasted pine nuts if required.

Recipe Notes

This recipe is traditionally served with corzetti, trofie or trenette (linguine). But, you can use other types of long or short pasta such as fettuccine or penne.


Pin for Later
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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