This dish is classically Ligurian, combining trenette pasta with pesto, which originated in Genoa, Liguria’s capital. While trenette (which is rectangular in shape instead of flat like linguine) is available from some Italian food shops and selected delis here, it can be difficult to track down, so we have substituted linguine in this recipe for ease. Refrigerate any leftover pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (65 votes)


  • 600 g fresh linguine
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 18 large green prawns, peeled with tails intact, cleaned 
  • lemon wedges, to serve 

Genovese pesto 

  • 1 bunch basil, leaves picked
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 40 g (½ cup) grated pecorino
  • 20 g (¼ cup) grated parmesan
  • 40 g (¼ cup) pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 125 ml (½ cup) olive oil

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cook pasta in a saucepan of boiling, salted water for 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain, reserving 60 ml cooking water, and keep warm.

Meanwhile, to make pesto, blend all the ingredients, except olive oil, in a blender until roughly chopped. With the motor running, gradually add the oil until mixture is smooth. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add prawns and cook for a further 4 minutes or until prawns are just cooked. Add pasta, reserved cooking water and the pesto. Toss until combined and heated through. Season and serve immediately with lemon wedges to squeeze over.

Drink 2011 Montevecchio Bianco Vermentino Fiano, Heathcote ($23)

As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 9, pg88.

Photography by John Laurie.