dinner · vegetarian

Pasta with Spinach Pesto, Corn, and Green Beans

Isn’t summer produce the best? We are usually away all summer for work, and this summer was the exception and we’ve been home. Once I realized we would be home, I took advantage of the opportunity to have a garden. I dreamed of fresh green beans, broccoli, peas, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cantaloupe, spinach, kale, beets, garlic, carrots… It was going to be amazing thanks to raised beds and square foot gardening.

However, the deer, groundhogs, rabbits, and birds also thought it was amazing. While I would have been happy to share, they decided to throw a party when we were at the beach, and we came home to everything ransacked, tomato cages spewed out of the raised beds and all over the yard. I did manage to harvest about 20 green beans before that happened, and I’m hoping to still have some tomatoes and raspberries.

Ruthless party animals (see what I did there? haha)… these beds were (too) full and green before we went away

This is one of my favorite summer veggie dinners. Our woodlands frenemies haven’t touched our basil, so I did get the joy of running outside to grab some for this meal. If you are unfamiliar with pappardelle, it’s a long, wide pasta (5/8″ wide). You won’t find it in a box, but in a bag. Trader Joe’s carries it for sure. If you can’t find it, fettuccine would be a decent substitute. Serve this with a side of summer fruit, and you’ve got a delicious Meatless Monday meal!


Pasta with Spinach Pesto, Corn, and Green Beans

Pasta with Spinach Pesto, Corn, and Green Beans


For the Spinach Pesto:

  • 1 cup fresh spinach packed
  • ½ cup basil leaves packed
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts toasted
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes

For the Pasta and Vegetables:

  • ¼ lb. pappardelle
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernals
  • 1 ½ cups green beans trimmed and halved
  • For the Tomato Garnish:
  • 1 cup tomatoes seeded and diced
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Serving:

  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • olive oil coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Process all pesto ingredients in a food processor until paste-like; set aside.

  2. Cook pappardelle, corn, and green beans in a large pot of boiling, salted water until tender but not mushy, about 7 minutes; drain. (If using another pasta shape, adjust time as package directs. When 7 minutes are left in cooking the pasta, add the corn and green beans).

  3. Combine ingredients for Tomato Garnish while pasta and vegetables cook.

  4. To assemble, layer components by first placing ricotta in a large bowl; season with coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Top with pasta and vegetables. Pour pesto over pasta and toss everything together. Sprinkle with Parmesan and tomatoes, then finish with olive oil, sea salt and pepper.


I highly recommend this Microplane zester and this citrus juicer

Source: Cuisine at Home, August 2004

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