Spaghetti with Green Garlic, Basil & Pine Nut Pesto

Cooking time
Serves2 people
Vegetarians Vegans
Spaghetti with Green Garlic, Basil & Pine Nut Pesto

Pesto comes from Genoa, where it’s usually served with trofie (little rustic pasta twists), new potatoes and French beans. This take on the classic sauce uses organic new season green garlic, which has a milder, sweeter flavour than its more common cousin. We've swapped in seasonal flat beans and added rocket for an extra burst of green.


  • 1 green garlic bulb
  • 25g pine nuts
  • 50g breadcrumbs
  • Sea salt
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 100ml cold water
  • A large handful of basil, leaves only
  • 250g new potatoes
  • 200g flat beans
  • 200g spaghetti
  • 50g rocket
  • 1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar

Tip: Any leftover pesto will keep in your fridge for a couple of days, or spoon it into ice cube and trays and freeze - you'll have tablespoon-sized portions of pesto ready to drop into soups or melt in pans to coat pasta or potatoes.

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1. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Trim the roots and top 4cm off the green garlic bulb. Halve it, then roughly chop the bulb and green stalk. Scoop them into a blender or small food processor (No food processor? You can make this pesto by hand. Finely chop the green garlic bulb and scoop it into a bowl. Finely chop the basil and pine nuts as much as possible. Add them to the green garlic with the breadcrumbs, a pinch of salt, the olive oil. Stir to make a chunkier pesto, adding water if you think it needs it). Pick the leaves off the basil stalks and add them to the blender. Tip in the pine nuts and breadcrumbs.
2. Add a pinch of salt to the blender and pour in 6 tbsp olive oil and 100ml cold water. Blitz till you have a smooth pesto. Taste and add a little more olive oil, water or salt if you think it needs it, blitzing again to mix. Scoop the pesto into a bowl and set aside.
3. Scrub the new potatoes and slice them into 1cm-thick slices. Trim the ends off the flat beans and finely slice them on the diagonal.
4. When the water in the pan is boiling, add the new potatoes. Cover, bring back to the boil then turn the heat down a little and simmer for 5 mins.
5. Take the lid off the pan. Add the spaghetti to the pan, turn the heat up and simmer for 5 mins. Drop the flat beans into the pan and simmer for another 5 mins. The potatoes should be tender when pierced with a fork, and the spaghetti and flat beans tender but still with a little bite.
6. Scoop 1 cup water out of the pan (mind your fingers) and set aside. Drain the spaghetti, potatoes and beans. Tip them back into the pan and set over a medium heat. Add half the pesto to the pan with 2 tbsp of the pasta water. Toss to mix everything together and warm through. Add a little more pesto or water if you think it needs it.
7. Divide the spaghetti between 2 warm plates, top with handfuls of the rocket and drizzle with 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar to serve.
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