Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Red Potatoes, Green Beans, and Pasta with Vegan Spinach Pesto

Sometimes a happy coincidence leads to a new recipe. MD recently mentioned eating a pasta dish with pesto, green beans, and potatoes. I had all the components on hand, so I was able to make a vegan version! This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart. The potatoes, green beans, and pasta are prepared together in one pot, and this comes together quickly if your pesto is prepped already. The pesto and potatoes make it rich and creamy, and the green beans add a nice crunch. So versatile, because it's good warm, at room temp, and even right out of the fridge. And I mentioned the potatoes, right?

I had pesto on hand because I'd re-visited the recipe for all basil pesto I made previously. I thought subbing out some of the basil for baby spinach might help retain the bright green hue since basil oxidizes and turns black with chopping. Sure enough, this batch stayed bright longer, and I also liked the addition of more garlic.

Spinach Basil Vegan Pesto

1 cup fresh basil
1 cup baby spinach
4 large cloves garlic
1/4 cup pinenuts
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste

In a food processor, combine basil through nutritional yeast until it forms a coarse paste. Slowly add the oil and process until combined. Salt to taste.

Red Potatoes, Green Beans, and Pasta with Spinach Pesto

1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1/2 to 1-inch chunks
1 Tablespoon salt
8 ounces whole wheat penne
8 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup vegan spinach pesto

Put potatoes into a Dutch oven covered in plenty of water (enough to accommodate the pasta you add later.) Bring to a boil. Add salt and penne, and bring to a boil again. Cook for two minutes. Add green beans and return to a boil. Cook until your pasta is al dente. Drain and combine with pesto. Salt and pepper to taste.


  1. your dish has everything dan and i love! we're going to try this recipe - i can't wait! it looks beautiful & tasty! mmmmmmmm!

  2. That dish looks so good. I'm not a big fan of green beans (childhood green bean trauma), but I might give this a shot with broccoli instead. I'm always looking for recipes I think my daughter might like and this looks like it might be a winner!

  3. What a good idea to help keep the pesto's color! And that meal sounds simple, perfect, and delicious. Anything that can easily be whipped together, and tastes good hot or cold is a winner to me.

    You know, Columbia isn't too far away, we would happily take any leftovers off your hands.... ;-)

  4. I have a bunch of basil in my garden waiting to be harvested. And now i know what to do with it. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Looks yummy!

  5. Jessy, hope you and Dan enjoy!

    Jennycestcake, broccoli would definitely work!

    Jennifer, maybe we can do a leftover-swap so I can try some of your special re-fried beans!

    Thanks Precious Pea! I might be making pesto every week to keep up with my basil.

  6. Great idea adding the spinach to the pesto! The pasta looks good too! I bet the pesto would be delicious on pizza or any flat bread for that matter. :-)

  7. WHat a fabulous pesto recipe!! I love veganizing Martha Stewart recipes :0)

  8. Spinach added to pesto sounds really nice, as does your pasta dish.

  9. Chow Vegan, you're right. This pesto is great just with any dipper!

    Veggie Girl, thanks! I think I'll have to check out more of her recipes.

    Erin, thanks. I think this one is a keeper.

  10. Smart idea with the spinach! It looks wonderful---so colourful and hearty.

  11. This recipe did not work for me at all. I feel like the instructions were incomplete as well. The nutritional yeast and basil would not combine. It was really unfortunate. I was look forward to it.

  12. Tracy, I'm sorry this didn't work for you. If you have a particular question about the instructions I can try to answer it. I hope you're able to find another pesto recipe that you do like.

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