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Pasta Alla Genovese

by . Featured in KITCHEN
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Introduction

My children wouldn't care if all I ever gave them was pasta with some bottled sauce poured over, and I don't deny that's sometimes indeed what they are given; but to please myself, and them, this is what I make when I get it together a little. Making this is hardly effortful; the potatoes cook in the pasta water - requiring a little extra time, nothing more - and the pinenutless pesto is whizzed up easily by the processor.

My children wouldn't care if all I ever gave them was pasta with some bottled sauce poured over, and I don't deny that's sometimes indeed what they are given; but to please myself, and them, this is what I make when I get it together a little. Making this is hardly effortful; the potatoes cook in the pasta water - requiring a little extra time, nothing more - and the pinenutless pesto is whizzed up easily by the processor.

Pasta Alla Genovese
Photo by Lis Parsons

Ingredients

Serves: 6-8

Metric Cups
  • 500 grams floury potatoes (peeled and cut into 1.5cm / ¾ inch slices quartered into chunks)
  • 500 grams linguine
  • 200 grams fine green beans (trimmed and cut in half)
  • 100 grams fresh basil leaves
  • 100 grams grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled)
  • 100 millilitres regular olive oil
  • 100 millilitres extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound mealy potatoes (peeled and cut into 1.5cm / ¾ inch slices quartered into chunks)
  • 1 pound linguine
  • 7 ounces slender green beans (trimmed and cut in half)
  • 5 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled)
  • ½ cup regular olive oil
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Put the prepared potato chunks into a large saucepan with enough salted water to take the pasta later, and bring to the boil.
  2. Cook the potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes, then add the pasta. Check the packet cooking instructions, and at about 4 minutes before the end of the specified cooking time, add the green beans. If you are using artisanal egg linguine, which takes less time, you will need to alter your strategy.
  3. While this is bubbling away, whiz the ingredients for the pesto in a food processor. Before you drain the saucepan, remove and reserve about ½ cupful of the cooking liquid. Tip the drained potatoes, beans and pasta back into the dry pan.
  4. Add the pesto from the processor and enough cooking water to give a runny sauce that coats the strands of pasta as you work it through with a fork or pasta claw. Serve immediately.
  1. Put the prepared potato chunks into a large saucepan with enough salted water to take the pasta later, and bring to the boil.
  2. Cook the potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes, then add the pasta. Check the packet cooking instructions, and at about 4 minutes before the end of the specified cooking time, add the green beans. If you are using artisanal egg linguine, which takes less time, you will need to alter your strategy.
  3. While this is bubbling away, whiz the ingredients for the pesto in a food processor. Before you drain the saucepan, remove and reserve about ½ cupful of the cooking liquid. Tip the drained potatoes, beans and pasta back into the dry pan.
  4. Add the pesto from the processor and enough cooking water to give a runny sauce that coats the strands of pasta as you work it through with a fork or pasta claw. Serve immediately.

Additional Information

For vegetarians replace the Parmesan with a vegetarian alternative.

For vegetarians replace the Parmesan with a vegetarian alternative.

Tell us what you think

What 5 Others have said

  • I always, always add pine nuts! X

    Posted by fbeths on 9th November 2015
  • Dear Nigella, I am from Genova, nice to see one of our masterpiece on your website. You might although occur in a misunderstanding (mostly for Italians) as "genovese" is a very different sauce, that comes from Naples. I attach a link that explains what genovese is in English: http://memoriediangelina.com/2010/07/13/la-genovese/. We would call this pasta "trenette with pesto sauce, potatoes and green beans", less attractive but more accurate. Lots of love, Marta

    Posted by mcambiaggi on 11th August 2014
  • Hi Nigella! Amazing recipe as usual! That pesto sauce must be incredible! Another version, a bit simpler, can be the pasta with pesto al limone e basilico. Just blend basil and the juice of a lemon with some parmesan and olive oil and pour that green perfumed sauce on you pasta and enjoy!! Very simple and delicious. Samuel

    Posted by sam93 on 4th February 2013
  • Simple, fast and delicious! Have made it with the potatoes and without....I added chicken meatballs when I left the potatoes out and whichever way, this is quick, easy and tasty!

    Posted by vivbev on 16th March 2012
  • hi nigella, I'm genoese so I read this recipe with attention. I find it ok, even though I don't understand why avoiding pinenuts, irreplaceable ingredient in pesto... cheers! chiara

    Posted by chiara_a on 27th January 2012
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