Genoese Style Minestrone with Pesto

Prep Time

120 Minutes Active time

Cook Time

60 Minutes inactive


Serves 8-10


Most ingredients are available in Antonio’s Market!


1/2 cup Cannellini Beans, Dried
1 ea Leek
3 ea Celery Stalks
1 ea Red Onion, Peeled
1 ea Boiling Potato, 6 oz, Not a new potato
3 ea Carrots
15 ea Italian Parsley Sprigs, Leaves Only
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 ea Tomato, Peeled and Seeded
1 cup Beef Broth
1/2 lb Elbow Macaroni, Or another short, tubular, dried pasta

For the Pesto Sauce

6 ea Walnuts, Shelled
1 tbsp Sweet Butter
2 tbsp Drained Boiled Spinach
1 tbsp Pine Nuts
1 1/2 cups Fresh Basil Leaves
2 ea Garlic Cloves, Peeled
3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 oz Parmigiano Cheese, Freshly Grated
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Method of Preparation

1. Soak the beans overnight in a bowl of cold water.
2. The next morning, bring 10 cups of salted water to a boil.
3. Drain and rinse the beans, then add them to the pot of boiling water.
4. Simmer, half covered, for 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the dryness of the beans.
5. Stir the beans occasionally while they cook.
6. Clean the leek, removing and discarding the green part.
7. Wash the white part very well.
8. Coarsely chop the leek, onion, celery and parsley together.
9. Peel the potato and cut it into 1/2in thick pieces.
10. Peel the carrots and cut them 1/2in pieces.
11. Heat the oil in a stockpot and add the chopped ingredients, potato and carrots.
12. Sauté for 5 minutes.
13. Then add the tomato and sauté for 5 minutes more.
14. Meanwhile, heat the broth and then add it to the stockpot with the vegetables and herbs.
15. Cook for 5 minutes.
16. Season with salt and pepper.
17. Drain the cooked beans, saving their cooking liquid.
18. Put the beans into a glass bowl and cover the bowl with aluminum foil.
19. Add the cooking liquid from the beans to the stockpot and simmer, uncovered for a 1/2 hour.
20. To prepare the pesto- Put the walnuts, pine nuts, butter, basil, spinach, garlic and 1/4 cup of the oil in a blender or food processor.
21. Pulse until very smooth.
22. Add the remaining oil and blend all the ingredients together.
23. Transfer the mixture to a glass bowl; add the parmigiana, salt and pepper.
24. Mix well and then cover until needed.
25. Raise the heat under the pot until the liquid comes to a boil.
26. Add the pasta and cook for 9 to 12 minutes, until al dente.
27. Remove the pot from the heat, add the reserved beans and mix well.
28. Let stand for 2 minutes.
29. Add half of the pesto to the pot, mix well and serving.
30. Add a dollop of the remaining pesto to each serving.

Recipe Source

Giuliano Bugialli’s Foods of ITALY