Speedy Pasta alla Genovese

20140718-163847-59927654.jpgEver since I made the one-pan tomato and basil pasta, and after seeing the gorgeous dishes my blogging friends made using the one-pan ‘technique’ (chuck all the ingredients in a pan, add water, and boil until the water has evaporated and everything is cooked), I haven’t been able stop thinking of other combinations that would work with this method. Pasta alla Genovese, which is made with pasta, potatoes, greens beans and pesto, came to mind. And seeing as I have just discovered a way of making pesto without parmesan (which is not strictly speaking vegetarian) it had to be tried. And I am very happy I did. Pasta alla genovese is a one-pan dish by nature, so I can’t honestly say I’ve revolutionised it in that sense but, prepared this way, it cooks in under ten minutes and you don’t even have to remember to add your veg. In the end, the pasta, potatoes and beans are perfectly al dente and all you have to do is add your (or the supermarket’s) pesto. 

You start off by finely dicing a large potato and topping and tailing your beans. I used haricots verts because they are thin and cook quickly.


20140718-163842-59922892.jpgThen make your pesto by blitzing all the ingredients using a (stick) blender. I used the Post Punk Kitchen’s recipe for a vegetarian/vegan pesto that I discovered only recently. You can find it here, as part of their green lasagne rolls, or simply look below.


Then put all your ingredients, except for the pesto, in a wide pan, add water and bring to the boil. Cook until the pasta, potato and beans are cooked to your liking. I was actually amazed at how perfectly everything was cooked, considering this was my first attempt at making this dish. I love it when the result matches the mental picture you had when you thought up the recipe. 🙂


Make sure there is a little bit of starchy water left in your pan, add the pesto (I like a generous amount) and stir. Eat.





2 cloves of garlic
50 g basil leaves
50 g pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
80 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp salt

This makes more pesto than you will probably need for this dish but I love spreading this on a cheese sandwich or using it as a dipping sauce. (It keeps for a few days in the fridge and freezes well.)


– Blitz all the ingredients in a blender until you have a smooth(ish) paste.
– Add 1 or 2 tbsp of water (or more, if needed) to loosen the mixture.




– 180 g spaghetti (I used wholewheat)
– 250 g peeled and finely diced waxy potato (peeled weight)
– 150 g green beans or haricots verts, cleaned and halved
– 450 ml water
– salt, to taste

– Put all the ingredients, except for the pesto, in a wide pan (I break the spaghetti in half)
– Boil until everything is cooked to your liking, leaving a thin layer of starchy water at the bottom of the pan.
– Spoon on the pesto, mix well and serve.


2 thoughts on “Speedy Pasta alla Genovese

  1. I think this will be a lot more successful in delivering big flavours than the one I tried Joost. It was fine, just not amazing. Pesto is one of those things I have little self-control over, I could eat buckets of this so this pasta has to be a winner in my book 😉


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