Recipe courtesy of Benedetta Vitali

Linguine al Pesto (Linguine with Pesto Sauce and Potato)

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  • Yield: Serves 6
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1 pound fresh or dried linguine

1 boiling potato, peeled and cubed

1 cup pesto (see below)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Freshly ground black pepper, for serving


2 cloves garlic

3/4 cups pine nuts


Leaves fromo 1 bunch basil, about 1/4 pound, well washed and dried

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup grated hard pecorino cheese


  1. When cooking the pasta, add a potato to the salted water. This trick returns to the pasta the starch it tends to lose in draining, thus preventing the linguine from clumping. Drain the pasta cubes along with the pasta, reserving a little of the cooking water. Transfer the pasta and potato to a large bowl and dress them with the pesto and butter. If the pasta looks too dry, add a little of the reserved cooking water. Serve in individual dishes, topping each with grated Parmesan cheese and pepper.


  1. If using a food processor, put the garlic, pine nuts, a pinch of salt, the basil, and the oil into the bowl and process it until the ingredients form a smooth paste. Add the Parmesan and the pecorino and pulse just to combine. Taste and adjust the salt.