Linguine alla genovese (recipe)

Linguine alla genovese. Al dente linguine, new potatoes and green beans in a creamy fresh basil pesto sauce.

The pesto is so fresh and the potatoes make it amazing – Mark

This from-scratch linguine alla genovese is exceptionally tasty as the pesto is freshly blitzed, the waxy potatoes are deliciously warming and the pasta itself is perfectly al dente and perfectly coated, not drowning in its light, creamy, pesto rich sauce.

Here’s how to make enough to feed four.


For the pesto

  • 50g toasted pine nuts
  • 100g fresh basil leaves, stalks removed
  • 100g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (I used a veggie hard cheese alternative)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed with a little sea salt
  • 60ml (4 tbsp) water
  • 150ml extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

Linguine alla genovese

And for the rest:

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g new potatoes, cooked, peeled and sliced
  • 200g green beans, blacknched for 2 minutes in boilign water
  • 125ml single cream
  • 250ml water
  • 200ml pesto (as made above), plus 60 ml (4 tbsp) to serve
  • 500g dired linguine
  • 4 sprigs fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


To prepare the pesto:

  1. Place the pine nuts, basil, Parmesan, garlic and water in the bowl of a blender or food processor and process for 45 seconds.
  2. Pour in the olive oil and whizz again for 20 seconds.
  3. Scrape the pesto into a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cover with cling film and store in the refrigerator until needed. It will keep in the fridge for a few days.

And the rest:

  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to a rolling boil for the pasta.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over low heat. Add the sliced potatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes until they start to turn golden.
  3. Stir in the green beans, cream, water and the pesto.
  4. Gently bring the sauce to the boil. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  5. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes, taking care not to let the cream separate.
  6. Cook the linguine according to packet instructions and drain.
  7. Turn the linguine into the pesto sauce and cook together gently for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Divide the pasta between hot serving bowls, top each with a spoonful of green pesto and a spring of basil to serve.

Linguine alla genovese. Linguine, new potatoes and green beans in a creamy fresh basil pesto sauce.

So will you try it? If you do, you might find these extra tips useful…

As regular readers will know, I’m on a journey with ASK Italian to learn how to #respectthepasta. ASK Ambassador Theo Randall, has created a set of rules for making perfect pasta:

Pasta DO:

  • Use LOTS of boiling, well-salted water
  • Cook for two minutes less than the packet instructions and finish cooking in the sauce with a spoonful of cooking water
  • Enjoy immediately in small portions in warm bowls or plates – “pasta waits for no man”


  • Tip pasta into a colander to drain it – use tongs or a slotted spoon to take pasta out of the water
  • Test ‘done-ness’ by throwing pasta onto the walls
  • Use too much sauce – coat the pasta, don’t drown it

Good luck!

Disclosure: we were sent the ASK Italian cookbook, from which this recipe is reproduced with permission.

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