Pasta Genovese

Pasta Genovese Recipe

Pasta Genovese is really a recipe for the end of summer when fine French green beans and basil are in season. Fine green beans have a very short season here and I grow a few plants of my own so I can pick them when they are still very fine. This is my favourite pasta dish.


serves 4 – 6

  • 350g orecchiette (or any dried pasta shape)
  • 200g waxy potatoes (Charlotte or Vivaldi)
  • 200g fine green beans, top & tail and cut into bite-size pieces


  • large bunch of basil (approx 60g) washed and dried.
  • 1 clove garlic peeled
  • ½ a lemon
  • 200g parmesan
  • 40g pine nuts toasted until lightly golden
  • 3 – 6 tablespoon olive oil


  1. To make the pesto put the basil, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor and blitz until you have a smooth paste.
  2. Add the olive oil and half of the parmesan, a squeeze of lemon, a pinch of salt and pepper and blitz again.
  3. Taste and correct the seasoning, adding more salt or lemon juice to taste.
  4. Add more olive oil as needed.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil for the pasta, and add a good pinch of salt.
  6. Cook the potatoes until just cooked through, then peel and slice and drizzle with olive oil and keep warm in the oven.
  7. Cook the green beans in boiling salted water until just cooked.  Keep warm with the potatoes.
  8. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Strain but keep some of the cooking water.
  9. Add the pasta back to the pan with the pesto, potatoes and green beans. Season and taste and loosen the sauce with the pasta cooking water.


Serve in warm bowls with more parmesan.

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