Basil Pesto Pasta with Potatoes and Green Beans

Every year I look forward to the return of the abundance of fresh and in season vegetables at my local grocery store. This week, the green beans looked particularly enticing and it was a great inspiration for a spring themed dinner. Luckily I had some of last summer's pesto stashed away in my freezer which made this dish a breeze to throw together. It can be easily scaled up or down to feed a crowd or to be a hearty dinner for two.

2-2 People

10 Minutes

30 Minutes

For the Pesto

  • 2 medium Garlic cloves
  • To taste Coarse sea salt
  • 3 ounces Basil leaves, fresh
  • 30 grams Pine nuts
  • 0.75 ounce Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 0.75 ounce Pecorino Romano
  • 0.75 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    High quality, such as California Olive Ranch brand

For the Pasta

  • 4 Tbsp Pesto
  • 1 Scant Tbsp Reserved Pasta Water

    More or less to taste

  • 1 small, 130 grams, scant 1/3 pound New potato

    Yukon gold, or any other waxy thin skinned potato

  • 80 grams, 1/6 pound Green beans, fresh
  • 225 grams, 1/2 pound Fettucine noodles, dried

    Cooked to al dente per the package's instructions

  • 1 Tbsp Diamond Kosher salt
  • 3 quarts Water

    Add 1 quart of water for every additional 1/2 pound of pasta

  • To taste Salt and pepper
  • To taste Pecorino Romano


  1. Prepare the pesto by using a mortar and pestle to grind the garlic cloves with a few pinches of coarse sea salt. Add the pine nuts in and continue to grind until a light beige paste that is slightly clumpy is formed. Next, add the basil leaves a few handfuls at a time until they are crushed up finely. Lastly, add in both of the cheeses, combine, and then slowly drizzle in the olive oil until a fairly smooth, creamy, emulsified, sauce forms. Taste and adjust for seasoning, whether it is more salt and/or olive oil. This step can be done in advance and frozen, up to a year.
  2. Place the potato in a pot and cover completely with water by an inch. Bring to a boil and allow to cook until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the water, allow to cool slightly, and then peel the skin and slice the potato into thin half moons about 1/4 inch thick. Set aside.
  3. Place the 3 quarts of water for the pasta in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  4. While the potato is cooking, rinse the green beans and snap off the ends. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and season with salt. Cook the beans 2-3 minutes, until vibrant green. Remove from heat and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Once cool enough to handle, chop into bite sized pieces.
  5. Once the water has come to a boil from step #3, add 1 Tbsp of kosher salt and return to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, which is normally 1-2 minutes less than the suggested cooking time on the packaging. Once the pasta is cooked to al dente, drain and assemble the dish.
  6. Combine 4 TBSP of the prepared pesto in a dish and toss with the cooked pasta until well coated. Add in the green bean and combine. Gently fold in the reserved potato slices. Add the reserved pasta water to taste. Plate the pasta and season to taste with salt and pepper and pecorino romano.