Pesto, Potatoes and Green Beans Pasta

This recipe describes a common variation of the classic pesto pasta. In Liguria, pesto pasta is often had along with potatoes and green beans, a hearty version sometimes called ‘enriched’ pesto.

Please see the Making Pesto in a Blender article for tips on how to make the pesto base simply and quickly.

Pesto, Potatoes and Green Beans Pasta

Yield: 4 servings

Total Time: 30 minutes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Pesto, Potatoes and Green Beans Pasta


  • 1 russet potato (about 250 g in weight)
  • 150 g of green beans
  • 250 g of pasta (trofie is the most traditional, linguine or spaghetti are also common).


  1. Dice the potato and cut the green beans in bite-size chunks (fig. 4).
  2. Drop the green beans in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook for 10 minutes (fig. 5a).
  3. Dried pasta generally takes the same cooking time as the diced potatoes (about 10 minutes). If using dried pasta, add it along with the potato (fig. 5b) and cook for the time indicated on the box. If using fresh pasta, start by adding the potatoes, boil for 7-8 minutes, then add the pasta and cook for another 2 or 3.
  4. Put a good tablespoon of pesto in each plate and dilute it with some of the pasta cooking water (fig. 5c).
  5. When the pasta and vegetables is ready, quickly drain it, pour it on top of the pesto (fig. 5d) and stir gently. Serve immediately.


13 thoughts on “Pesto, Potatoes and Green Beans Pasta”

  1. Hi! I just discovered your blog and am now following you. I've got an Italian blog going too and would love it if you'd follow back so that we can talk all things Italian food and culture! Just made pesto this week and am so loving it! YUM!

    Ciao, Roz from 'la bella vita'

  2. Thanks Roz! I am now following you, you have a nice blog – love the pictures! I also 100% agree on what you say about pesto. Keep up the good work!

  3. Paolo, this looks amazing. As I grow my own basil in the kitchen window, I will follow your instructions and prepare home-made pesto 🙂

  4. great post Paolo. I am really getting tired of pre-made pesto sauce, even if i add some fresh ingredients to it (walnuts, extra virgin olive oil and parmigiano), most of the times i am disappointed: it is not like the fresh pesto sauce that you can find in Italy… Next time i will try your recipe. btw, i love the one with green beans and potatoes.

  5. Thanks for your comments!

    Juci, let me know – I'm sure it'll turn out perfect; you'll see how easy it is 🙂

    trive, I completely agree on pesto in a jar. And there is no fresh or frozen options that I know of… The only possibility is to make it fresh!

    Giulia, thanks for your feedback. I've had pesto lasagna – delicious – but I never thought of adding potatoes and beans, it must be really good.

  6. Paolo – Thank you for the very kind mention. I am actually one of those purists. I agree with your comment about the undesirable minty flavor with many other types of basil.

  7. I knew pesto sauce but didn't know this was the 2nd popular pasta sauce. Interesting. I learned a lot about my favorite Italian food on your blog. I have never made pesto sauce before so I have to keep this recipe for my first trial!

  8. Nami, you're going to love it. Pesto is the second most famous pasta sauce outside of Italy; inside of Italy it's hard to say which sauce is the most popular – it depends on the region, I suppose.

  9. I will confess that I keep pesto in the fridge much longer than a couple of days and also that I freeze it including the cheese. It is not as good as using all the appropriate care to preserve it, but is still more than acceptable.

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