Seasonal Flavors: Faux Penne Pesto Pasta

Faux Penne Pesto Pasta

Take a look at the accompanying photo. Penne pasta with pesto, right? Not exactly. It is certainly time for pesto and I was looking forward to some on the pasta that I’m not really supposed to eat very often. Then I spied that large bowl of wax beans I had just picked. I decided to be virtuous and have the pesto on the beans.

I always cut green or yellow beans on the diagonal, because I believe that a beautiful presentation is as important as the correct amount of salt. When I stirred the pesto into the beans and looked, I gave a little chuckle. I was surprised to realize how I could have actually created something that looks like penne!

Later, when dining socially distant with my brother and niece, from six feet away on the patio, they were duly impressed. Since the pesto is the dominant flavor, and the beans were cooked al dente, we were not feeling deprived at all. 


  • 2 ½ cups of fresh, packed, basil leaves
  • ½ cup walnuts or pinenuts
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp salt

Mix all ingredients with a mortar and pestle, in your blender, or in a mini-food processor.  I like to leave it chunky, rather than completely pulverized to a liquid.

Serve with pasta—or beans! 


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