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!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 575 kcal
Author Just a Little Bit of Bacon


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
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Pasta and Vegetables

  • 4 medium yellow potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 12 oz green beans, cut into 1 - 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 10 oz fettuccine


Balsamic Pesto

  1. In the bowl of a food processor, puree the basil, pine nuts, garlic, and balsamic until finely chopped. With the processor running, add the oil in a stream until it is all incorporated. Scrape the pesto out of the processor and into a bowl. Add the parmesan cheese and mix it in. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Pasta and Vegetables

  1. Everything cooks in the same pot of water. Don't dump out the water until the very end.

  2. Fill a large pot with water. Add the potatoes and a couple of tablespoons of kosher salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once the potatoes have begun to boil, cook them for 12-15 minutes, or until a knife easily pierces the potatoes. Use a spider or slotted spoon (or a mesh strainer) to scoop out the potatoes into a bowl.

  3. Add the green beans to the pot and cook them for 5-6 minutes, or until tender. Scoop them out into the bowl.

  4. Add the fettuccine to the pot and cook according to the package directions. Before draining the pasta, scoop out 1 cup of pasta water into a cup. When the pasta is done, drain the pasta and add to the bowl.

Assemble the Dish

  1. Add the pesto and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the bowl with the past and vegetables. Toss well so that the pasta water and pesto emulsify into a creamy sauce. If needed add more pasta water a little at a time so that the sauce is creamy but not watery.

Recipe Notes