Penne with Potatoes, Green Beans and Pesto

A little taste of Italy in Santa Monica, California.

I love Italy. I've only been there briefly, enjoying two romantic weeks in small Tuscan village. But I'll never forget it. I don't have to explain why, do I? What's not to love about Italy? Fabulous food. Delicious wine. Olives. Garlic. Bakery fresh bread.

Must I go on?

Here's a quick and simple pasta dish my husband and I devoured one rainy afternoon during our stay. It conjures visions of love and romance.

Did I mention, we were on our honeymoon?

Gluten-Free Penne with Potatoes, Green Beans and Pesto

This is a gluten-free version of a classic Italian dish. I often add some rinsed, drained canned Northern (white) beans for added protein. Omnivores can add sliced cooked sausages.


8 small red potatoes, washed and quartered
10-12 oz. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut
14-16 oz. brown rice penne 
12 sweet grape or cherry tomatoes, washed, halved or quartered
1/4 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds
Parmesan, shavings or curls (I use a vegetable peeler)


Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Cook the potatoes and green beans for 2 minutes. Add the GF pasta to the pot, stir and cook until the pasta is al dente and the potatoes are tender.

Drain it all in a colander, and pour the mixture into a large warmed serving bowl. Gently toss with the pesto. 

Scatter the tomatoes, pine nuts and shavings of Parmesan on top and serve immediately.

Serves 4.


When I am adding white beans to this dish I use a large non-stick skillet drizzled with a touch of olive oil to heat the white beans with some fresh minced garlic. When the pasta and veggies are done I pour the drained pasta and potato-green bean mix into the skillet and lightly toss to combine. I remove the skillet from the heat and add in the pesto and tomatoes, gently tossing everything to coat. Then I pour the mix into a warm serving dish and top with pine nuts and Parmesan shavings.

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