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Recipe for Ligurian pancake pasta with pesto

Luke Pyenson for The Boston Globe

Serves 4

Use whatever basil you can find to make this, since true Genovese basil is hard to come by (unless you grow it yourself). Chef Davide Morciano of A Cornabuggia restaurant in Genoa makes this pancake-like pasta to serve with the basil pesto of his region.


2cups densely packed
basil leaves
2tablespoons pine nuts
¼cup freshly grated
Salt, to taste
cup olive oil, or more to taste

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1. In a food processor, pulse the basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, salt, and a few tablespoons of the olive oil six or seven times, until fully combined. Scrape down the sides of the work bowl.

2. With the motor running, add the remaining olive oil in a slow, steady stream until mixture is completely smooth. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or olive oil, if you like. Transfer to bowl; set aside.


1cup all-purpose flour
1cup semolina flour
Pinch of salt
2cups water
½tablespoon butter,
cut in 3 pieces

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1. In a bowl, whisk together all-purpose and semolina flours, salt, and water.

2. In an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 piece of the butter. Pour in roughly one-third of the batter (this should be about the thickness of a thin pancake). Cook for 3 minutes or until bubbles start forming. With a spatula, turn the round over and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, or until both sides are lightly browned. Transfer to a cutting board.

3. Use the remaining butter and remaining batter to make 2 more rounds in the same way.

4. With a pizza cutter or knife, cut the rounds into random shapes and transfer to 4 plates. Spoon pesto over each serving and serve without tossing.

Luke Pyenson. Adapted from A Cornabuggia restaurant

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