If you know Trenette al Pesto chances are that you have recently seen the Disney Pixar's movie Luca or have been in the Italian region called Liguria, where this dish originates from. Either way, I am happy you want to make this pasta meal at home as it is easy to make using simple ingredients and really yummy!
What is Trenette al Pesto?
Trenette al Pesto is a pasta dish that originates from Liguria, a coastline Italian Region. This recipe has become really popular since it was featured in the Disney movie Luca.
Our toddler, as well called Luca, loves the movie so we thought making this will encourage him to finish the plate. Every time we make Trenette with Pesto he has seconds!
Trenette is a type of long, thin, and flat pasta, really similar to Linguine. To make this recipe, you can use either Trenette or Linguine due to their similarities.
To make Trenette al Pesto, Trenette pasta is cooked with potatoes and green beans and then seasoned with fresh Basil Pesto.
Our Trenette al Pesto is a vegan version so it is suitable for dairy-free diets as well. We use yeast flakes instead of Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino.
Our Trenette al Pesto Recipe is:
- One-pot meal
- A great meal for young kids
- Easy to prepare
- Made with fresh Basil pesto
- Perfect for a busy weekday
How to make Vegan Pesto From Scratch
To make Trenette al Pesto, you can use fresh Basil Pesto or store-bought pesto. You can find some good brands that make good quality pesto in supermarkets or health food shops but they are normally not vegan. Making your own pesto at home becomes quite easy if you have a hand blender and a few ingredients.
To make pesto we use our immersion hand blender that comes with a food processor attachment. It's definitely one of the best investments we made for our kitchen.
Only 6 ingredients are needed when making Vegan Pesto: fresh basil leaves, nutritional yeast flakes, pine nuts, fresh garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and salt. Once you have all the ingredients, your pesto can be made in 5 minutes following these four simple steps.
- Wash and dry the basil leaves with a paper towel. Make sure they are completely dry before adding them to the blender to avoid oxidation.
- Add the basil leaves, yeast flakes, pine nuts (you can optionally toast them before for extra taste), garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and salt into a food processor or hand blender.
- Blend until smooth consistency. Adjust to taste with salt.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and cover with olive oil. This will keep the pesto fresh and with a beautiful green color.
Tips to make the best Pesto
- Choose a basil plant that has small leaves. They tend to be sweeter and less bitter. As well, if you have your own basil growing, younger basil (first picked) will be sweeter.
- To get a deep green colour in your pesto you would need to prepare your pesto by chopping the basil leaves and garlic by hand but this can take a bit longer. We use our food processor when cooking pesto as it saves the time and energy that we need for our little ones (welcome to parenthood). Leaving the basil in ice cubes for a couple of minutes and the food processor blades in the freezer for 10 minutes, your basil will stay fresh and green while blending it.
- Make sure you completely dry the basil before adding it to the food processor.
- Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil. We are lucky to live in Spain as olive oil is normally really good and not too expensive. The olive oil will define the taste of your pesto so you want the right one.
- If you end up making too much pesto, you can freeze it into portions using an ice cube tray.
How to make Trenette al Pesto
Trenette Pasta. For this recipe, you need Trenette, Linguine, or even Spaghetti.
Fresh Basil Pesto Sauce. For our Trenette al Pesto, we use fresh Basil Pesto. We make our pesto with yeast flakes instead of parmesan cheese to keep it vegan. If you are vegetarian, make sure you are using a vegetarian hard cheese as Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino are not vegetarian.
Potatoes and Green Beans. Trenette al Pesto calls for Potatoes. These are added while cooking the pasta together with green beans. For this pasta recipe, you want to use potatoes that hold their shape after cooking such as Yukon Gold potatoes. They will hold the shape that you want for this dish.
This recipe is really simple to follow so we think is perfect for a busy weekday night or a simple and fun weekend meal. Once the homemade pesto has been made, you can follow these four simple steps to make your Trenette al Pesto.
- Bring salted water to a boil. Add cut potatoes and green beans to the boiling water. For trenette al pesto you can cut the potatoes in medium-size cubes and the green beans in 3-4 cm long pieces.
- Once the potatoes and green beans have been cooking for about 5 minutes, add the Trenette pasta. Stir and bring back to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente.
- Reserve one cup of the pasta water for later and drain the rest. Transfer the pasta, potatoes, and green beans to a big pot or pan.
- Add the fresh basil pesto and reserved pasta water and mix well until all the pasta is well coated with the pesto sauce. Season with salt and black pepper pepper to taste.
Before serving, you can add some more fresh basil, pine nuts, and olive oil, to give your plate the perfect final touch.
Variations for our Trenette al Pesto
- Make pesto without basil. If basil is not in season, you can change these ingredients for another green. Our favorite leaves to use when making pesto without basil are spinach or arugula. You can use veggies such as broccoli, avocado, or even carrot tops. So many different ingredients can be used to make green pesto when basil is not an option! Check out this Spinach pesto.
- Make it gluten-free. Try to find a gluten-free flat and long pasta such as Linguine or Spaghetti. Make sure the yeast flakes you are using are gluten-free as well.
- Add more veggies. The original Trenette al pesto is made with potatoes and green beans but you can add more to that. Broccoli or zucchini are great options too.
- Make it vegetarian. Use vegetarian hard cheese instead of yeast flakes to make your Basil Pesto.
- Make it nut-free. You can easily make this recipe nut-free by not using pine nuts to make the pesto sauce.
Trenette with Pesto is a main dish that doesn't need an elaborate side dish to go with as the pasta quite filling on its own.
Before serving Trenette al Pesto, add some pine nuts, fresh basil, and a splash of olive oil on top to give your dish the best taste and presentation. Add a drizzle of lemon juice or some lemon zest to give the pasta meal some tanginess and keep the yeast flakes close as you will probably want to add some more!
If you enjoy spicy food, consider adding some chili oil or red pepper flakes.
Store and Reheat
If you have any leftovers, keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
FAQ and Tips
How can I substitute the pine nuts?
Pine nuts can be quite expensive and you may want to substitute them for another ingredient such as walnuts or cashews.
What type of pasta can I use instead of Trenette?
Trenette is a type of long, thin, and flat pasta, really similar to Linguine. To make this recipe, you can use either Trenette or Linguine due to their similarities. Other pasta shapes that are great for pesto pasta are spaghetti or fettuccine.
How long will fresh pesto stay good for?
You can cover the pesto with olive oil so the basil doesn't lose its color and taste. It should last for up to 4 or 5 days if you keep it in the fridge. If you end up making too much pesto, you can freeze it into portions using an ice cube tray.
Trenette al Pesto
Fresh Vegan Basil Pesto
- 2 ½ cups fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- ⅓ cup yeast flakes
- 1 garlic clove
- 4 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- A pinch of salt and pepper
- 300 g Trenette pasta
- 2 medium size potatoes
- 200 g green beans
- Wash and dry with a paper towel the basil leaves. Make sure they are completely dry before adding them into the blender to avoid oxidation.
- Add the basil leaves, yeast flakes, pine nuts (you can optionally toast them before for extra taste), garlic, extra virgin olive oil and salt into a food processor or hand blender and blend until smooth consistency.
- Adjust to taste with salt and transfer to a serving bowl. Cover with olive oil to keep the pesto fresh.
Trenette al Pesto
- Peel and cut the potatoes into 2 cm cubes and the green beans into 3-4 cm long pieces.
- Bring salted water to a boil and add the potatoes and green beans. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the Trenette in the water together with the potatoes and green beans. Stir and leave boiling for as long as the packet instructions calls for. Normally, around 10 minutes.
- Reserve one cup of the pasta water for later and drain the rest of the water. Transfer the pasta, potatoes and green beans to a big pot or pan.
- Add the fresh basil pesto and pasta water on the pasta and mix well until all the pasta is well coated with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
|If you tried our recipe, please leave a comment or tag us on Instagram @Sixhungryfeet. We are always happy to see your creations!|