Fresh Pasta with Pesto and Green Beans

Hands-On Time: 10min
Cook Time: 20min
Ready In: 30min
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
pasta with pesto and green beans

Many children are resistant to eating green foods, but this delicious pesto might entice them to change their ways, especially if they help prepare it. We make loads of this in the summer, when basil is at its peak and readily available in our garden and the farmers' market. Because it is easily frozen, it lasts us throughout the winter, when fresh herbs are but a dream. Of course, pesto tastes fantastic on this pasta, but try spreading it on a sandwich, or mixing it with mayonnaise or sour cream for a unique dip for artichokes or other veggies.



  1. Combine basil, pine nuts, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel-blade attachment (or a blender). Pulse until well chopped. While the machine is still running, slowly add the olive oil, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl one or two times. Puree until almost smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the grated cheeses. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the green beans and cook for 5-7 minutes or until barely crisp tender. Add the fresh pasta and boil for 2-3 minutes more, or until pasta is cooked through. Drain beans and pasta, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.
  3. Add a couple of tablespoons of cooking water to the pesto to thin a bit. Add the pasta and green beans to the pesto and toss to coat. If necessary, add some of the reserved cooking liquid so that the sauce easily coats the pasta. Top with additional grated cheese and serve immediately.

Find more recipes from Alison Needham on, or visit her blog at

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