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Recipe: Pesto pasta Alla Genovese

I go to Cibo for my favorite comfort food…farfalle alla genovese. Cibo is owned by renowned chef Margarita Fores, who also by the way owns Adora, and has brought exquisite Italian cuisine to the Philippines. I wish I can ask Margarita for the recipe of her farfalle genovese, but since I can’t, I just searched the Internet for a quick recipe for this dish. I was surprised to have found quite a lot of ways to do it, and so I just combined the different recipes and came up with my own. :)


  • 4 tablespoons pesto genovese (you can add more if you like a strong pesto taste)
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose cream
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 shitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup uncooked pasta noodles (whatever kind you like; I use penne)
  • a drizzle of olive oil (just enough to saute the mushroom)
  • a pinch of salt (I use sea salt)


  • Cut your mushrooms in thin slices, in the size you want
  • I just buy prepared pesto genovese in the grocery, but it is better if you can prepare it yourself. Here’s how to make fresh pesto genovese by a rather quirky chef. Note that the video also includes how to use the pesto genovese in pasta…you may want to ignore that because it’s overly simplified. Hehehe!

Cooking Instructions:

Cook your pasta noodles in a separate pan.

Heat olive oil in a pan and saute the shitake mushrooms for a minute. Add your pesto genovese, all purpose cream, evaporated milk. Stir until the mixture looks even, and then add water. Bring to a boil and add salt to taste.

Then, you can add in your cooked pasta…and you’re done! You can put in some freshly ground pepper before you serve. And, don’t forget the bread!


Comment from Tesca Guzman
Time: February 3, 2010, 10:22 am

Hi.. i love the same pasta dish at Cibo… Margarita Fores was featured in GMA QTV Channel… Secrets of the Masters show. She showed the genovese dish, which accdg to her was really a hit at her resto. I’m trying to find where i wrote the recipe and trying to search her video as well. just wanted to inform you and hopefully have some luck finding the recipe myself.

Comment from leah pena of feu-eac
Time: February 17, 2010, 5:08 am

i will surely try this pesto pasta

Comment from Minnie Cooper
Time: April 16, 2012, 6:14 pm

Here is Margarita Fores’ “Pesto Genovese” (classic Basil Pesto), the old-fashioned way which I found on the web:

The term “pesto genovese” means a sauce that originally came from the city of Genova (hence the “genovese”) and was originally made with a mortar & pestle (hence the “pesto”).

Pesto Genovese. In the mortar & pestle, pound the fresh basil leaves into a pulp, then add some chopped garlic, salt and pine nuts. Douse everything with good extra virgin olive oil and add freshly grated parmesan cheese too. What’s good with pesto is that you should add it only in the end. When everything’s already cooked, that’s when you add it, especially when the pasta is already off the flame.

Mushroom Cream Sauce. Use a medley of fresh wild mushrooms. She used oyster, white button, and fresh shiitake. Secret – Do not wash fresh mushrooms! We always are sort of mindless when we get to the kitchen and wash everything! Do not wash fresh mushrooms unless you want a disaster. Just wipe it with a damp cloth to remove whatever brown stuff you see.

In a heavy bottom skillet, saute lots of minced garlic in extra virgin olive oil. Add in all the sliced wild mushrooms, except the oyster mushrooms. When these are about half-cooked and the nice broth is starting to come out, that’s when you add the oyster mushrooms. Season with rock salt. Add some heavy cream. Allow to reduce and thicken a bit. Add a little butter (just a little!). And for a nice cream sauce, grate fresh nutmeg into it! Ms. Fores said it smelled like Christmas! She recommended nutmeg for cream dishes that have vegetables (eNTeNG – like spinach!) and those wherein cream is the more prominent component of the dish.

Farfalle Genovese. While working on the sauce, cook farfalle (bowtie pasta) according to package directions. Since this was “the second batch” of pasta (after the spaghettini above), she used the same water that remained in the pasta pot. Invest in a nice enough pasta pot! The pasta pot and pasta water could be your new best friends! By the way, this pasta shape is perfect for cream sauces because it has little ridges that sort of scoop the sauce.

Toss the cooked farfalle into the mushroom cream sauce. Drain the farfalle from the pasta pot but don’t be afraid to let a little (dripping) pasta water get added in to the sauce! Freshly grate parmesan cheese on top. Freshly crack black pepper on top. Transfer everything on to a large serving platter. Add the pesto sauce and mix well. Scoop a spoonful of the pesto on to the center of the dish and put a sprig of fresh basil for a nice garnish.

E N J O Y!!!

Comment from Hello
Time: June 26, 2016, 5:22 am

Thanks! We love Genovese

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