Pesto Pasta with Green Beans and Potatoes

Pesto Pasta with Green Beans and Potatoes

Are you someone who still loves carbs? Yes? Then I have a great recipe for you today! Pesto pasta with green beans and potatoes is a classic dish from Liguria which seems like too much at first glance. Pasta AND potatoes? Just taste it and you’ll realize it works.

Yes, I still love carbs.

No one is taking pasta out of my Italian American hands! In fact, you will be seeing more pasta dishes here since I think it will be fun to bring more focus on all the great ways to enjoy pasta. Quick pastas, slow pastas, cold and hot pastas. Now I feel like I’m writing a Dr. Seuss book…Say! What a lot of pastas there are.

This particular pasta dish is one I came across many years ago. It’s not anything like what we cooked at home growing up, but I liked the idea of the potatoes and the green beans tossed with pesto pasta. I’m always on the lookout for great vegetarian meals, like my Cauliflower with Orecchiette and Pine Nuts, which I can add to my repertoire. As soon as I tried it, I knew it was a keeper!

It’s so amazing when a recipe is great right out of the gate without needing much in the way of improving. (Not that I could resist making a few changes over the years.)

Should I tell you the tale of the two peach dishes I made this past week?

A disaster and a home run. Oh, yes there are disasters here in my kitchen just there are in many other kitchens! Maybe yours sometimes too? Trying something new doesn’t always work out.

For the disaster, I decided to make a peach bread. Seemed easy enough. Make a quick bread and add peaches. So I found a recipe for peach quick bread in my travels around the internet and made it. Hmmm. I don’t know if it was the recipe or if I didn’t follow it carefully enough, but there was dough bubbling over the sides getting all over my oven and I managed to pull it out while it was still raw in the middle. Not my best day. Next time I’ll use my own banana bread recipe and switch it to peaches.

For the home run, I decided to make a peach buttermilk bundt cake. My mom had asked me to make my Strawberry Rhubarb Bundt Cake and bring it up when we were visiting last week. However, I had peaches! Lots of peaches. So I switched the recipe to peaches, changed the flavoring up a bit, made a maple glaze, and topped it with toasted pecans. And it was so tasty with caramel notes and lots of peach flavor and a tangy sweet glaze!

While I am totally going to turn that disaster into a home run, it’s so nice when it works the first time.

For this pasta dish, so long as you keep the basics the same – potatoes, green beans, pasta, and pesto, you can add your own stamp to the recipe.

Maybe you grow (or find at the store) romano beans, which are flat green beans also called Italian green beans, or want to mix some yellow beans in there. Maybe you prefer a waxier or starchier potato than the yellow potatoes I love in the dish.

There are also different types of basil to add to your pesto and different pesto variations. I sometimes add baby spinach to mine. More veggies in the mix and the spinach keeps the pesto green longer than basil alone.

One variation I do love and do every time I make this recipe, is to add some balsamic vinegar to the pesto. I find it brightens the flavor and adds a little zip to the pasta so I always remember to add that in!

Another change you can make is to the pasta. I prefer a wide noodle, like a fettuccine or a pappardelle, with the pesto. However, I have seen people use penne or linguini or rotini. If you want to be very traditional, find some trenette! You might have to order it, but that is the pasta of Liguria.

Traditional, or with a little variation added to the mix, this pesto pasta with green beans and potatoes is worth trying! It’s one of our favorites and I hope it becomes one of yours.

– Happy Eating, Annemarie

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Pesto Pasta with Green Beans and Potatoes

This vegetarian main course is based on a classic dish from Liguria where pesto sauce is paired with pasta, potatoes, and green beans. Easy, one pot meal!

Balsamic Pesto


  • 2 cups packed basil leaves
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (1/2 oz) shredded parmesan
  • 4 medium yellow potatoes, (cut into 1 inch cubes)
  • 12 oz green beans, (cut into 1 – 1 1/2 inch pieces)
  • 10 oz fettuccine
Read the whole recipe on Just a Little Bit of Bacon