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OG Fusilli Pesto with Green Beans and Potatoes

Grab your mortar and pestle and join us in the small town of Liguria, Italy, the birthplace of pesto.  In Liguria they cook pasta in a pot of actual ocean water, how legit is that?  

Just under 15 minutes
Liguria is located on the Italian Riviera. They have crystal blue water, monumental mountains, sprawling hills, and pesto that will make you want to cry. They are the birthplace of pesto, the OG, so why would we make it any other way. The pesto is prepared in a mortar and pestle, which makes sense because the word “pesto” in Italian is derived from the verb “pestare,” meaning to pound or crush. The ingredients are busted up in the mortar until they form a paste that smells so good it should be made into a fragrance so we can all smell like pesto all the time.


6 small
green beans
pasta (we use fusilli so the pesto gets stuck in the spirals)
about 4 cups
1 clove
about 2 cups of leaves
sunflower seeds (or cashews or almonds or pine nuts)
about ¼ cup
parmesan cheese
a fresh chunk, grated, about ½ cup


olive oil
about 1 cup
2 tablespoons, cubed up

totally optional


Beach walk
Walk down to the beach and fill a large pot with sea water, just like they do in Italy. If you do not live on the beach, just fill a large pot with water and salt heavily. Bring this to a boil.
Veg and starch prep
Quarter the potatoes, keeping all the pieces about the same size. Cut the stems off of the green beans and then cut into bite-sized pieces. Add the pasta and potatoes to the boiling, salted water.
Everyday I’m pestlin’
Grab your mortar and pestle. Toss the garlic clove into the mortar and crush it. Next add the basil leaves (save the stems for another day) and really bust them up until they form a paste. Then add sunflower seeds and continue to crush.
Back to the pot
The pasta and potatoes got a 5 minute head start in the boiling water. Now it’s time to toss in your green beans.
Finish your pesto
Grab the olive oil and add a few glugs at a time to the mortar. Stir and smear to combine. Grate the parm into the mortar and stir.
Plate your pesto!
Toss your butter into a large bowl. Now strain the pasta and veg through a colander in the sink. Add half the pasta and veg to the bowl with butter. Add half the pesto to the bowl as well. Toss it up. Pour this out onto a dinner plate. Finish with a quick grate of parm and a quick drizzle of olive oil. Finito!
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