This pesto pasta with potatoes and green beans always reminds me that nothing brings people together like good food. I discovered this dish at the plant-based cafe called “Green Hut” in Phuket, Thailand, operated by a lovely Italian couple.
For some reason, I never imagined eating pasta with potatoes. From my Italian friends, I learned that pesto pasta is traditionally served with green beans and potatoes in some regions of Italy. I was sold on that idea, as I love pasta and potatoes. Add crunchy green beans and freshly made basil pesto to a mix, and you get the most delicious combination.
The recipe is straightforward: you need to boil potatoes and green beans, which you will add to your cooked pasta. You can boil pasta and veggies in the same pot, but since I use rice pasta, which doesn’t take long, I boil my veggies first and then cook pasta using the same cooking water.
To make pesto, you’ll need a good bunch of fresh basil and pine nuts. In Southeast Asia, pine nuts can be harder to find and pricy, so that they can be replaced with sunflower seeds.
I prefer my pesto without dairy, so I use nutritional yeast instead of cheese. Adding garlic and lime juice adds all the right flavours, too. If you have never tried vegan pesto before and are worried it won’t taste as good as the one with cheese, you are concerned about nothing. When you mix all the ingredients, it will taste just as good or even better. Just trust the process!
Using a good quality olive oil can be a game changer, though!
Italian Pesto Pasta With Green Beans And Potatoes
- 1 food processor
- 250 g green beans trimmed and chopped
- 300 g pasta for gluten free use rice pasta
- 300 g potatoes scrubbed clean and quarted
- 30 g pine nuts lightly toasted
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- 4 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the green beans and potatoes then remove them to a bowl with a slotted spoon. In the same pot, cook the pasta until al dente (according to package instructions). Reserve 125 ml of the cooking water, drain and return the pasta to the pot.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pesto. Using a small food processor pulse together the pesto ingredients until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Add the pesto, green beans and potatoes to the pot with the pasta. Add a little of the reserved cooking water and toss to combine. Serve in bowls and garnish with nutritional yeast.