What is it with kids and carbs? In our house, pasta is a sure fire dinner winner, always guaranteed to please and, most importantly, be eaten! My Little Miss would just eat plain pasta everyday, and on nights when I don’t want the battle or want to give her an easy dinner, that’s what I serve up. But otherwise, I’m always trying different sauces and that’s how I came to this pesto pasta recipe.

A twist on a pasta genovese, with a basil pesto, potato and beans, you can whip this up in 15 minutes. And I don’t mean in a 15 minutes plus 30 minutes of prep time kind of 15 minutes. I mean 15 minutes total. Enjoy!

15 minute pesto pasta recipe

Serves 4


250g uncooked fettuccine
pinch salt
1 large potato
20g beans
1 cup fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
extra basil leaves, grated parmesan and pine nuts to serve


Place a pot of water on to boil over medium-heat. While waiting for the pot to boil, prepare the potato and beans. Peel the potato and cut into 1cm cubes. Prepare the beans by trimming the ends and cutting into 2cm lengths.

When the water has reached boiling point, add in a pinch of salt, the fettuccine and the potato and set the timer for 7 minutes.

While the pasta is boiling, prepare the pesto. Add the basil leaves, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, olive oil and garlic clove into a food processor and blitz until the ingredients are chopped and combined. If the pesto is a bit dry, add a little more oil (probably about 1tbsp max)

When the timer goes off for the pasta, add in the beans and set the timer for a further 3 minutes.

Before draining the pasta, reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and return to the saucepan. Add in your pesto mixture and stir through. If the pasta needs some more moisture, add in some of the reserved cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition, until you reach the desired consistency.

Serve topped with extra basil leaves, grated parmesan and pine nuts (or not for younger children) and enjoy!

Note: you can use any type of pasta with this recipe, but fettuccine is my favourite.

The proof is in the toddler who will eat the recipe. Note the fork in her hand but her fingers holding the food. Why?!?


What are your go to pasta recipes for the kids?


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