Corzetti Pasta with Pesto, Potatoes, and Green Beans

In Liguria, many homes have a  tradition of serving a particular type of pasta, called Corzetti or Croxetti, imprinted with the family’s coat of arms. It is a tradition that has been handed down for generations since the Renaissance. It is in that historical period, in fact, that the aristocrats asked their cooks to customize the pasta with their own coat of arms as a sign of magnificence and pride.

The protagonists of Ligurian gastronomic history, the corzetti, or in the Genoese dialect, curzetti, today are undoubtedly the most representative pasta type of Ligurian cuisine. Many families still prepare the pasta by hand, usually for Sunday lunch, using a personalized mold.

For this particularity they are also known as “printed corzetti” (or del Levante), to distinguish them from the same type of pasta without imprints, which was the pasta used by the poorest who could not afford to print it. 

What is corzetti pasta?

Corzetti are small circles of pasta in the shape of a medallion on which a design is imprinted using a wooden stamp. In the historic downtown of Genoa, it is still possible to find ancient shops that produce these indispensable molds for preparing corzetti at home.

In the Middle Ages and still today, wood such as maple, beech, apple, or pear are used. The wood used for the construction of the molds must be free of tannin or resins, which would make the flavor of the pasta absolutely unpleasant.

According to tradition, the condiment par excellence of corzetti is minced white meat, onion, celery and bay leaf. But corzetti also goes very well with a classic pesto or mushroom sauce (tocco de funzi).

A different version, however, are the curzetti valpolceveraschi, which are always made in Liguria and have the characteristic small figure eight shape, also called tiè con è die. This pasta is often seasoned with simple tomato sauce and grated cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano).


Corzetti pasta with pesto, potatoes and green beans

A traditional recipe from the Liguria region of Italy. An interesting pasta shape with its own history, and one of the most famous Italian sauce. Combined with perfection makes this recipe delicious!
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Keyword green beans, pesto, potatoes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 602kcal
Author Nonna Box


  • 1 lb corzetti pasta
  • 3 potatoes medium
  • 0.25 lbs green beans
  • 6.3 oz pesto 1 store bought jar of imported Italian pesto. Or use our recipe for your homemade pesto!


  • Peel, wash, and dry the potatoes, then cut them into small cubes.
  • Wash the green beans and trim them, then cut them in half.
  • In a wide, deep pot, bring water to a boil. Add salt and the green beans, cooking them for 5 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes and cook for another 3 minutes, adding a little bit of olive oil.
  • Add the croxetti and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently so that they don’t stick to each other.
  • Pour the pesto into a serving bowl.
  • When the pasta is done, drain it and reserve a little bit of the water, adding it to the serving bowl with the pesto.
  • Add the drained pasta, potatoes, and green beans to the serving bowl of pesto and reserved water.
  • Stir everything carefully and serve.


Calories: 602kcal | Carbohydrates: 90g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 426mg | Potassium: 313mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1096IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 2mg

Wine pairing

It is the delicate aroma of the pesto’s basil for which we must find the ideal pairing. Vermentino, a typical Ligurian white wine, perfectly supports the herb’s scents and natural intensity with pleasant hints of fruit, such as citrus. Looking for a wine outside the region? Try an elegant and richly flavored Verdicchio, with its aromas of dried fruit and almond.


Shui Zhu Beef (Sichuan Boiled Beef)

    Learn how to make hot and numbing Sichuan style water boiled beef (Shui Zhu Niu Rou) at home. Sichuan style water boiled beef is one of my favorite dishes in restaurants. If you ever tasted it in China, you will crazily love the tenderness of the beef slices and shocked by how well they are… […]

    Read More

    Spicy King Oyster Mushroom Salad

      This “meaty” Spicy King Oyster Mushroom Salad is a tasty, refreshing Chinese-style cold appetizer. It’s sure to satisfy, and only takes a little bit of prep to pull off.  If you’re like me, king oyster mushrooms have entered your regular rotation at mealtimes because they are a snap to prepare, and are so versatile for… […]

      Read More

      Refreshing No-Bake Desserts

        Peaches and Cream Icebox Cake photo by Hannah Kaminsky Vegetarian Journal previously featured a vegan recipe piece by cookbook author and photographer Hannah Kaminsky called “Keep Your Cool! Refreshing No-Bake Desserts.” Recipes include Peaches and Cream Icebox Cake, Orange Dream Ice Cream Bars, Raspberry White Chocolate Macaroons, Root Beer Float Pie, and Bananas Foster Crème […]

        Read More