Gemelli with classic pesto, potatoes, and green beans

By Lidia Bastianich
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When summer basil is plentiful, you can make a double or triple batch of pesto because it freezes well. Make the pesto up until the addition of cheese. Pack it in small zip-top freezer bags, squeeze out excess air, and freeze for up to two to three months. These bags of pesto will thaw in the refrigerator in a few hours and bring a taste of summer to the cooler months. Serve with gemelli pasta, creamy potatoes, and crunchy green beans. 



Gemelli Pasta

  • 1 pound gemelli pasta
  • Salt for boiling water


  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • 12 ounces new potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 12 ounces green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise

To Serve

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Grana Padano
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water


Cook the Pasta 

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.

For the Pesto

  1. Put the basil, parsley, pine nuts, and garlic in a blender.
  2. Pulse to make a smooth paste, adding the olive oil in a steady stream as processing.
  3. Transfer to a bowl, and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper.

Fo the Vegetables 

  1. Add the potatoes to the boiling water, and boil them for five minutes before adding the pasta.
  2. Cook the pasta until it’s about halfway cooked, about five minutes.
  3. Add the green beans. Cook until the pasta is al dente and the vegetables are tender, about seven minutes.

To Serve 

  1. Remove potatoes, pasta, and green beans with a spider to a large serving bowl.
  2. Add the pesto and grated cheese to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper; toss all well, adding up to 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water if it seems dry, and serve. Enjoy!

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