This Pesto Pasta with Green Beans and Potatoes is quick, easy and delicious. It is also healthy and a great meal for vegetarians.
I made fresh pesto the other day because I had a lot of basil growing in my garden. When I posted a video of the Pesto preparation on Instagram mentioning the blanching trick, a very concerned Italian woman let me know that blanching was unheard of and completely unacceptable!!
There are many methods for making pesto and I have tried all of them. In the end, this version wins on flavor, ease and color (even if I am a heretic to the lovely Italian woman).
If you have been following my blog, you know that I like to incorporate vegetables into every meal. On that note, I added green beans and small potatoes to this pasta dish.
- Boil or steam vegetables in the same pan where you will be cooking the pasta.
- To save you time, make the pesto earlier in the day or a day before you will be using it.
- When cooking the pine nuts, plan on standing by the skillet until they are done. It only takes 4-5 minutes and I cannot tell you how many times that I have walked away to do something else and burned them. The photo was of my second batch of pine nuts!
A quick and easy pasta recipe.
- 2 cups basil leaves, washed
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 cup raw pine nuts
- 1/2–3/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 cup Reggiano Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound pasta
- 1–1/2 cups green beans
- 12–15 small potatoes, cut larger ones in half
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, add pine nuts and cook until they turn golden brown (4-5 minutes). Keep a close eye on them. Set aside to cool.
- Fill a large bowl with cold water and some ice cubes, set aside.
- Heat al large saucepan filled with water until boiling. Add basil leaves and count to 10, drain then place in the ice bath. After a minute or two, remove the basil with your hands and squeeze out all of the water. Place in the bowl of a food processor.
- Place pine nuts in the food processor with the basil and chopped garlic and blitz it for 5-10 seconds then keep the motor running and slowly drizzle the olive oil into the opening. Add 1/2 cup, check consistency, you will want a nice thickish paste. Add additional olive oil if necessary.
- Pour into a bowl, add grated cheese, salt and pepper to taste.
Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil over high heat.
When it reaches a boil, either add potatoes to a steamer or directly into the boiling water. After 5 minutes, add green beans and continue cooking for 4-5 minutes. You will want to remove the beans when they are still a little firm. Make sure the potatoes are cooked through but not too soft. Set aside.
Bring the water to a boil again, add salt then add pasta and cook according to the directions and depending on the shape of the pasta. Before pasta is done, ladle out a bit of the pasta cooking water and place in a bowl. Drain pasta, then place back into the pan.
Add beans and potatoes to the pasta, add 3-4 large spoonfuls of pesto and a couple spoonfuls of the cooking water and stir. Add additional pesto and/or water until the saucehas nice, creamy consistency.
Finish with additional Parmesan cheese.
You may want to use a combination of Parmesan and Pecorino Romano Cheese. If you do, keep in mind that the Pecorino cheese is fairly salty so don’t add as much salt when seasoning the pesto.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
- Serving Size: 5 servings
Keywords: Italian, pasta, pesto