Hearty Pesto Cannellini Bean Pasta Salad

This makes a great lunch or side dish to serve at a BBQ – who doesn’t love pesto?!

A few tips to ‘zero waste’ this dish:

  • Grow your own basil OR shop for ingredients at a local farmer’s market and ask them to package it without plastic
  • Take your produce bags to your local grocer or supermarket so you aren’t tempted to buy the leafy greens in a bag!
  • Most bulk food stores will stock all of the dry goods for this dish
  • If you’re struggling to find package free pasta, try to at least find a product in a cardboard box that you can compost

Makes approx. 8 hearty portions, or serves 12 as a side dish

For the pesto:

  • 2 bunches basil, picked and washed
  • ¼ C pine nuts, toasted lightly
  • ¼ C nutritional yeast
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • ½ C veg oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

    For the pasta and beans:

    • 4 C dried pasta, cooked in salted boiling water until tender
    • Cannellini beans – soaked for 8 hours or overnight, then cooked in a pressure cooker for 12 mins (low pressure), or for approx. 90 minutes on a saucepan
    • 2 cups baby spinach
    • 3 handfuls green beans, top, tailed, blanched, halved
    • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
    • 4Tbs olive oil (optional)
    • 1 spanish onion, finely diced


For the pesto:

Combine all ingredients for pesto in a food processor – it should be thick but ‘saucy’.  Add more water if necessary.  Season to taste – depending on the size of the lemons it may need more!

To serve:

Combine the pesto with pasta and cannellini beans.  Sprinkle in baby spinach, salt, pepper and stir until combined.

In a separate bowl add the green beans, onion, vinegar and olive oil together.

Serve on a plate together.



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