Pasta Genovese

Serves 6 (or will stretch further if served with garlic bread and salad)

This is a great vegetarian midweek meal that doubles up as scrummy lunchbox leftovers.


Start to finish: 30 minutes


  • 14oz / 400g pasta – penne or fusilli work best with this recipe.
  • 7oz /200g green veg – I usually go for any of / a mix of fine green beans, sugar-snap peas and asparagus
  • A jar of green pesto – rocket pesto works nicely with the flavour combinations here

For this recipe you will also need:

  • Mug


1. Fill the kettle and boil. Measure out the pasta into the saucepan and put onto cook. Fill and boil the kettle again. Cut the baby potatoes into slices about 1cm thick. Put them onto boil in the chef’s pan. Now chop up the vegetables. Cut the tops off the beans and then chop them into three. Chop the other vegetables to be of a similar size so they cook in a similar length of time.

2. Your pans should now be on the boil. Time how long the potatoes have been on and after 5 minutes of boiling, add the vegetables. Keep an eye on the pasta and near the end of the cooking time, dip your mug in the pan and remove a mugful of the cooking water. Set this aside. Drain the pasta once cooked and set aside.

3. Test the potatoes and vegetables. Drain when they are fully cooked. Return to the chef’s pan with the reserved pasta water and the jar of pesto. You can shake up a bit of the pasta water in the jar with the lid on to get it all out.

4. Put the pine nuts on to toast in the small frying pan. You don’t need to add any oil as they’ll release their own oils as they warm up. Keep them moving with a wooden spoon and then when they are golden brown, add them to the vegetable and pesto mix. Now add the pasta to the same pan and mix well. I’ve added a large mixing bowl to the equipment list for this if your pan is getting too full.

5. Serve the pasta dish with finely grated parmesan over the top.


  • This dish will keep for 48 hours in the fridge, covered with clingfilm. It can also be frozen but must be thoroughly defrosted before reheating.
  • It’s also great in lunchboxes as leftovers. You can eat it as a delicious cold pasta salad or heat it up in the microwave. To do this, add a little boiled water from the kettle (just a couple of tablespoons) to your Tupperware box. Put the lid back on and shake gently to loosen up the pasta. Remove the lid and place on top of box and heat on full power for about 3-4 mins, depending on the power of your microwave, stirring partway through cooking. When reheating food, please make sure all dishes have been heated to piping hot and then cooled to eating temperature before consuming.
  • You can reheat the dish the same way at home. Just put the pasta in a bowl covered with a square of kitchen roll.
  • The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice some mushrooms in the dish in the picture. I added these as my daughter was really enjoying mushrooms at the time and I had some that needed using up. As with most dishes, you can play about with the recipe once you know how it works and what the flavours are like.

©Kathryn Stanley 2011

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2 Responses to “Pasta Genovese”

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  1. Ashleigh Barnes says:

    Hi Kathryn,

    I am really loving the site and enjoying reading your recipes that are really easy to follow. I look forward to putting them into practice beginning tonight- i am going to attempt pasta genovese and plan to make the scrambled eggs on Saturday!

    I’m so impressed with the site and have told everyone at work, well done Kathryn, really proud of you! xx

    • Kathryn says:

      Hi Ashleigh

      Thanks a lot – it’s been a long time in the making. Looking forward to hearing how you get on – I bet Mark’ll be encouraging you to do some of the puddings!

      Kathryn xx

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