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Trofie with Potatoes, Green Beans ( trofie con patate, fagiolini e pesto )

Claudia Roden

by Claudia Roden from The Food Of Italy

Little twists of trofie pasta are met with potato and green beans for an Italian inspired dish. This vegetarian meal also goes well with trenette or fettuccine.

From the book


Trofie are the spiral shaped pasta, that famously go in this dish so typical of Genoa, but you can use other pasta such as trenette or fettuccine, as in the photo.

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4 small waxy new potatoes, peeled and sliced
150g fine green beans, trimmed and strings removed
350g trofie or fettuccine
Grated pecorino or parmesan
For the basil and pine nut pesto:
2 cloves garlic, crushed, or more to taste
50g pine nuts
50g or more basil (weighed with the stems)
4 tbsp grated pecorino sardo or parmesan
150ml mild tasting extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tbsp prescinsoa (a creamy acid ricotta) or fromage frais (optional)

Essential kit

You will need a large mortar and pestle.


Make the pesto. Pound the garlic and pine nuts in a large mortar with a little salt. Add the chopped basil leaves (the amount takes into account that basil found elsewhere is less perfumed than in Liguria), a few at a time, pounding and grinding the leaves against the sides of the bowl. Stir in the grated cheese and mix very well, then gradually beat in the olive oil (the olive oil of Liguria is very light, delicate and perfumed) and the prescinsoa or fromage frais, if using. 

Put the potatoes and green beans in a large saucepan with plenty of boiling salted water and cook for 10–15 minutes, then throw in the trofie and cook until these are al dente. Drain, reserving a ladle of the cooking water. Mix with the pesto, diluted if you like with a little of the cooking water and serve with grated pecorino or parmesan.


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