Trofie Pasta Liguria (Pasta with Pesto, Potatoes and Green Beans)

I have given this dish this particular name because I have often eaten it in one of my favourite Italian restaurants in Portofino, which is in the Liguria region. To save time, use bought fresh pesto sauce – the whole thing will still taste absolutely authentic.

Vegetarian parmesan-style cheese is available from

Serves 2

Trofie Pasta Liguria (Pasta with Pesto, Potatoes and Green Beans)
 6 oz (175 g) trofie pasta*
 1 x 120 g tub bought fresh pesto sauce (or same quantity home-made. See Related Recipe below)
 3 oz (75 g) Anya salad potatoes*
 3 oz (75 g) dwarf or fine green beans, or fresh shelled peas
 2½oz (60 g) freshly grated parmesan cheese (see recipe intro)


Begin this by heating some pasta bowls ready for serving.

Then, in a large saucepan, heat up 4 pints (2.25 litres) water with a tablespoon of salt and bring it up to a good, fierce boil. Add the pasta, stir once and let it boil briskly for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, if you are using beans, trim and cut them into lengths, about 3 x 1½ inches (7.5 x 4 cm). Wash and slice the potatoes next, leaving the skins on; they need to be fractionally thicker than a 50p coin. After 10 minutes, throw the beans and potatoes in to join the pasta. (If using peas, give them slightly less cooking time.)

Now, give the ingredients another stir and bring the water back to the boil, then set a timer for 8 minutes.

After that, drain the pasta, potatoes and beans (or peas) in a colander – but not completely, as the pasta needs a little water still clinging to it. Then tip everything back into the saucepan, add the pesto sauce and stir it pretty niftily to give everything a good coating.

Finally, serve in the hot pasta bowls with the Parmesan in a bowl to sprinkle over.

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