This classic Genovese method of preparing pasta with pesto includes cubes of potato and pieces of green bean, all cooked together in the pasta pot until tender.
Why It Works
- The potato adds extra starch to the pasta water, helping to bind the sauce and absorb excess oil from the pesto.
- Tossing it all together off the heat preserves pesto's fresh flavor.
Read more: The Right Way(s) to Serve Pesto on Pasta
- Yield:Serves 4
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:15 minutes
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound (450g) dried pasta, such as trenette, linguine, or mafalde
- 5 ounces peeled Yukon Gold potato (140g; about 1/2 medium), cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 4 ounces (110g) green beans or haricots verts (about 20 green beans or 30 haricots verts), stems trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths on a bias
- 1 recipe pesto sauce
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, for serving
In a large pot of salted boiling water, boil pasta, potato, and green beans until pasta is al dente and potato and green beans are very tender. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water, and transfer pasta, potato, and green beans to a large mixing or serving bowl.
Add pesto sauce to pasta along with 1/4 cup pasta cooking water. Toss well to emulsify pesto and pasta water into a creamy sauce. Add more pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed, if pasta is too dry. Drizzle in fresh olive oil, if desired. Serve with Parmigiano Reggiano on the side.