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A close up of pesto pasta on a plate with potatoes and green beans
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5 from 1 vote

Trofie al Pesto Genovese with Potatoes and Green Beans

Trofie al Pesto alla Genovese with Potatoes and Green Beans. This is a traditional Ligurian dish made with Trofie pasta, potatoes and green beans tossed together with homemade basil pesto. It's packed with flavour, so simple and easy to make and is healthy too!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 - 6 servings
Calories: 605kcal
Author: Emily Kemp


  • 3 cups Trofie pasta (400g)
  • 2 cups green beans (170g) cut in half or thirds
  • 1 lb potatoes (450g)
  • 2 tightly packed cups fresh basil (50g)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts (25g)
  • cup freshly grated Pecorino or Parmigiano Reggiano (40g)
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • cup olive oil (65ml)
  • Salt to season


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Peel and cut the potatoes into small cubes about ½ inch (1cm) thick and cut the green beans into bite-sized pieces (cut into 2 or 3).
  • To make the pesto add the basil, pecorino, peeled garlic clove, pine nuts and olive oil to a small bowl and use an immersion blender to blitz to a smooth paste. Alternatively, you can use a mortar and pestle. Season with a pinch of salt and set aside.
  • Add the pasta and the potatoes to the boiling water, after 5-6 minutes add the green beans and cook together until the pasta is al dente and potatoes cooked through (about 9-10 minutes altogether).
  • Reserve ½ cup (120ml) of pasta water then drain the pasta and veggies.
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of pasta water to the pesto so it goes from a paste like consistency to a thick sauce consistency.
  • Add the pesto to a large mixing bowl then add the pasta, potatoes and green beans with a good pinch of salt. Mix until combined with the pesto. Add more water, if needed.
  • Check for seasoning and add more salt if needed, serve.



  • Do NOT use jarred pesto - no matter what brand, do not use jarred pesto as a substitute, it tastes nothing like homemade pesto and you will not get anywhere near the same results.
  • Do not cook your pesto - another important tip is to not cook you pesto or you'll lose a lot of the fragrant flavour. We even recommend letting your pasta, potatoes and beans sit for 2-3 minutes after draining before mixing with the pesto to avoid overheating.
  • Storage - Although best eaten immediately, this is a great pasta to enjoy cold as a pasta salad. Once cooked it'll keep well for up to 2 days in the fridge.


Calories: 605kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 170mg | Potassium: 392mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1032IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 180mg | Iron: 3mg