Savor the Flavor of Traditional Pasta alla Genovese Recipe


Pasta alla Genovese is a classic Italian dish hailing from the Ligurian region, particularly Genoa. This flavorful pasta dish features a tantalizing blend of fresh basil pesto, potatoes, and green beans, culminating in a truly satisfying culinary experience. Let’s dive into the traditional recipe for this beloved pasta dish.


To make pasta alla Genovese, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 12 ounces of trofie pasta (substitutes: linguine or spaghetti)
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup of green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons of pine nuts
  • 2 cups of fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. First, prepare the basil pesto. In a food processor, combine the basil, pine nuts, garlic, and olive oil. Blend until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and mix in the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Set the pesto aside.
  2. Cook the potatoes in a large pot of salted boiling water until tender. Remove the potatoes and set aside.
  3. In the same pot of boiling water, cook the green beans for 4-5 minutes until they are crisp-tender. Remove the green beans and place them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
  4. Using the same pot of boiling water, cook the trofie pasta until al dente according to the package instructions. Once cooked, drain the pasta, reserving a small amount of the pasta water.
  5. Return the drained pasta to the pot and add the cooked potatoes and green beans. Pour the basil pesto over the pasta and toss gently to coat, adding a little pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce.
  6. Season the pasta alla Genovese with additional salt, pepper, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese to taste. Serve hot and enjoy!


What is the origin of pasta alla Genovese?

The origins of pasta alla Genovese can be traced back to the Ligurian region of Italy, particularly the bustling port city of Genoa. This dish showcases the vibrant flavors and ingredients that are characteristic of the region’s traditional cuisine.

Can I substitute trofie pasta with other types of pasta?

If trofie pasta is not readily available, you can substitute it with linguine or spaghetti. These pasta varieties work well with the basil pesto and complement the potatoes and green beans in this dish.

Is pasta alla Genovese suitable for vegetarians?

Yes, pasta alla Genovese is a vegetarian-friendly dish. It features a delightful combination of fresh vegetables, basil pesto, and cheese, making it a hearty and satisfying option for vegetarians.

Can I make the basil pesto in advance?

Absolutely! You can prepare the basil pesto ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. This allows for convenient meal preparation and saves time when assembling the pasta alla Genovese dish.
pasta alla genovese recipe

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