Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ligurian Pasta Pesto

Comfort Food; it certainly means something different to every person.  Over the years my comfort foods have changed considerably!  I remember when three Oreo cookies and a glass of milk were exactly what I need to rejuvenate my little kid psyche.  There was a time when I would turn to Campbell’s Tomato Soup with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich; now I think ugh I can’t imagine craving that.For a long time now when I am feeling tired or a bit blue there is nothing like a plate of pasta with pesto to re-energize my flagging spirits!  In April I posted here how to make a traditional Italian Pesto: http://www.kcinthekitchen.com/2011/04/no-mortar-for-this-pesto.html but I thought it’s time to share the way pesto is served in Liguria.

There is a particular type of dried pasta about an inch long and twisted like a cork screw that is boiled with chunks of fresh potatoes and fresh green beans.  These are drained and tossed with pesto and topped with grated Parmesan cheese.

So simple and so delicious!  I have not been able to find the Ligurian dried pasta here, but have found that the dish loses nothing when made with spaghetti!

Here is the basic recipe for four and don’t be surprised if you find your kids eating the green beans without hesitation!  And the combination of the pesto with the potatoes is a wonderful treat!

8 ounces dried spaghetti

1 large potato peeled and cut into small cubes
6 ounces or a couple of handfuls of fresh green beans cleaned and cut into 1 inch lengths

1/3 cup pesto

¼ cup olive oil

Fresh grated Parmesan for the topping

Bring a large pot of water to the boil
Add a small handful of salt to the water
Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes
Warm the olive oil in a large frying pan
Add the pasta and green beans to the boiling water with the potatoes and cook until the pasta is al dente
Drain the pasta , potatoes and beans reserving 1/3 cup of the water
Place pasta, potatoes and beans into the warm olive oil along with the reserved water
Toss in the pesto and mix until the pasta, potatoes and beans are lightly coated with the pesto.

Serve with grated Parmesan to sprinkle on top.
Voila, enjoy!


  1. That looks awfully good--love the idea of adding green beans!

  2. Looks delish! This just might be today's lunch :)

  3. Mmmmm, I love pasta with pesto sauce! I've never added potatoes to a pasta dish, but I bet it's really good!

  4. I love the flavour combinations here. definately on my to do list.