Day 254: Pasta Alla Genovese

When I first came across a recipe for Pasta Alla Genovese in a Nigella book, I couldn’t quite comprehend the ‘double carbs’ issue. I was fairly horrified at this thought and the potatoes seemed an unnecessary addition to the already starchy pasta.

How wrong I was!

The combination with the pesto and green beans to break up the stodge is a triumph. What’s more, it’s also fussy-child friendly, quick, easy and only uses one pan.


  • 300g pasta
  • 150g new potatoes, halved
  • 150g green beans, sliced lengthways 
  • Bunch of basil leaves
  • 50g pine nuts, toasted
  • 50g (vegetarian) Parmesan, grated
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

Cook the new potatoes in boiling water for 10 minutes. Add the pasta and cook for a further 8 minutes, adding the green beans for the last 4 minutes.

In the meantime, combine the basil, pine nuts, garlic and grated cheese in a food processor to make a pesto. Alternatively you could just substitute with shop bought.

When the pasta is cooked and the vegetables are tender, drain, reserving some of the pasta water. 

Return the pasta and veg back to the pan, stir the pesto through, along with a splash of the cooking water and a squeeze of lemon juice and serve with a few shavings of (vegetarian) Parmesan. (I also meant to stir through some black olives but forgot!)

Everyone, including Mathilde enjoyed the (to all intents and purposes) Pesto Pasta, with a few additions. And a fancy title.

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