Trofie Pasta with Ligurian Pesto

Trofie Pasta with Ligurian Pesto


Basil pesto, also known as Pesto alla Genovese, holds the distinction of being the world’s second most popular pasta dressing, and today the term encompasses a wide range of herb-and-nut pairings beyond the classic combination of basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic and Parmesan.

In Liguria, a fresh cheese called Prescinsêua is often added to the pesto to give a tangy, yoghurt-like flavour and a creamy consistency akin to Ricotta.

This recipe serves 4-5 people.

Trofie Pasta with Ligurian Pesto Recipe


  • 150g stringless runner beans
  • 500g Trofie pasta
  • 1 large bunch of fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove (middle removed to avoid bitterness)
  • 2-4 leaves of fresh mint
  • 115-200ml good quality olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan
  • 2 tbsp Pecorino
  • 2 tbsp Ricotta or traditional Prescinsêua cheese
Trofie Pasta with Ligurian Pesto Recipe
Basil Pesto in a Glass Jar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ Gas Mark 4.
  2. Begin by making the pesto. Place the pine nuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool.
  3. Combine all the pesto ingredients (except the cheese) with 115ml of olive oil in a blender. Blend for a few seconds, then add 1 tablespoon of olive oil at a time until you achieve a smooth green sauce.
  4. Add the cheeses gradually, adjusting to taste.
  5. In a large pan of salted boiling water, cook the Trofie pasta according to the package instructions.
  6. Slice the runner beans into dainty ribbons, about ½ cm wide. Add them to the pasta water for the last 2-3 minutes of the pasta cooking time or until just cooked.
  7. Reserve a mug of pasta water before draining the pasta and runner beans.
  8. Stir in the pesto along with three tablespoons of pasta water to help the sauce cling to the Trofie.
  9. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
  10. Serve immediately.



Top Tip

Good quality ingredients will really take this dish to the next level.