Green Pasta 2.0

This green veg and pesto pasta recipe is one of my favourite ways to make the most of late summer vegetables while they’re at their best. It’s a great way to use up a glut of homegrown produce, too, so nothing goes to waste. You can add any green veg you have: I’ve used courgette and a mix of beans, but broccoli, peas and asparagus work well too.

This recipe is super quick and easy to make, too – once the beans are prepped the whole thing is done in about 15 minutes. It’s one I’ve been making for years and years with gradual changes along the way (hence the 2.0), and though the method is now quite different from the original, the idea remains the same.

Tagliatelle with pesto, courgette and green beans

Ingredients (serves 2):
– 200g mixed green beans (I used runner beans, French beans and broad beans)
– 1 courgette
– 150g wholewheat tagliatelle

For the pesto:
– 40g pine nuts
– 30g pistachios
– 1 garlic clove, crushed
– 20g fresh basil
– 10g fresh parsley
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 lemon, juiced
– 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

  1. Begin by preparing the beans. Blanch broad beans in boiling water for two minutes; scoop out into a bowl of cold water. Once cool, squeeze the bright green beans from their tough shells and set aside. Top and tail runner beans and run a vegetable peeler down the edges to remove the string, then slice into 3cm diagonals and set aside. Top French beans and cut in halves or thirds, depending on their size; set aside.
  2. To make the pesto, toast the pine nuts and pistachios in a dry frying pan for 3-4 minutes until golden. Scoop out some of the pine nuts and set aside, and transfer the rest of the nuts to a food processor with the garlic. Blitz to crumbs, then add the herbs and blitz again. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and some salt and pepper; blitz again to a smooth sauce. Don’t worry if it’s a bit thick at this stage.
  3. Peel as much of the courgette as possible into ribbons and slice the rest into thin strips. Cook the tagliatelle to pack instructions, adding the runner and French beans for the last 3 minutes of cooking. Use a little of the pasta water to loosen the pesto if needed, then drain the rest.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the courgette strips for 2-3 minutes until softening. Add the ribbons and cook for another 1-2 minutes, tossing to cook evenly, until softened and just charring.
  5. Add the pasta, beans (including the shelled broad beans) and pesto to the courgette pan and toss to mix and coat everything in the pesto. Spoon into bowls and scatter with the reserved pine nuts to serve.

Tagliatelle with pesto, courgette and green beans

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