Home Vegetarian Pasta Recipes Go Green… with this Traditional Ligurian Pesto Pasta Recipe

Go Green… with this Traditional Ligurian Pesto Pasta Recipe


It doesn’t get much fresher than this basil and bean-touting pesto pasta recipe. Coming at you direct from Liguria in the North-West of Italy, this basil beast is crunchy-to-munch and truly aromatic.

This pesto pasta recipe takes the pesto sauce ingredients of basil, pine nut and a touch of garlic, and combines this ever so crunchy covering with trofie or linguine pasta.


It then fills in any hunger gaps by adding soft potato chunks and super-crunchy green beans.

Mmm… this one makes my mouth water just writing about it.

Serves 2 (or 4 if using this dish as an Italian style pasta starter)

Ingredients: (For a printable PDF shopping list click here, or right-click this link and choose ‘Save target/link as’ to save the list for later.)

200g/7oz of trofie or linguine pasta

50g/1.8oz fresh basil leaves

1 small clove of garlic

2 small potatoes (25g/0.9oz)

100g/3.5oz green beans

1 tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon of pine seeds


Extra virgin olive oil


Mixing bowl

Large pan/skillet

Small pan/skillet

Handheld electric mixer or marble pestle and mortar.


Potato peeler


STEP 1 – As ever, preparation first.

– Peel the potatoes and chop them into small 1cm cubes.

– Wash the beans and chop off their ends.

– Chop off the ends of the garlic clove, peel it, and chop it as finely as you can.

– Remove the basil stalks, then wash and tear the leaves.

– Grate the parmesan cheese.

STEP 2 – Boil up two pans of water on the hob (one small pan, one big).

– Dissolve a teaspoon of salt into the small pan, and a handful of salt in the large. Set the large pan to simmer.

– Now throw the potato chunks into the small pan.

– After 5 minutes of these boiling away, set your timer for another 5 minutes and add the green beans (these take just 5 minutes to the potatoes’ 10).

STEP 3 – Now let’s learn how to make pesto!~

How you handle the ingredients here depends on whether you are mixing them with an electric mixer , or manually with pestle and mortar …

If using a blender/mixer: throw the pine nuts, garlic, basil leaves, parmesan and a small glug of olive oil (2 tablespoons worth) into the blender and whiz it all for no more than 30 seconds – Italian pesto shouldn’t be super-smooth.

pesto pestle and mortar

If using a pestle & mortar: pop in the garlic and the pine seeds, then add a handful of the basil leaves and work into a rough paste. Keep gradually adding basil leaves and when necessary add a tablespoon of olive oil (you shouldn’t need more than three in total to keep things moist enough). Add the parmesan towards the end of this calorie-burning pestle session.

Note: remember to take the pan of vegetables off the heat if their time is up. The potatoes should be soft all the way through, the beans crunchy.

STEP 4 – Turn up the big pan of water and fling in your pasta (check its cooking time on the packet).

– While it cooks, spread pesto around your mixing bowl.

– When ready, drain the potatoes and beans, and add these to the mixing bowl.

STEP 5 – When the pasta is ready, drain this and pop it in the mixing bowl. Also add in there two tablespoons of the ‘starchy’ pasta water.

– Stir gently but thoroughly, so that all the ingredients are mixed and green.


Sit down, grab a glass of something delightful, and get busy enjoying this gloriously green and crunchy munch. If you have any thoughts on this pesto pasta recipe, please do let me know.


You may also like