Trenette al Pesto from Luca (plant-based, gluten-free option)

If you've seen the fun Pixar movie Luca, you may remember that a certain pasta dish is featured. The two boys, who are really sea monsters, try "trenette al pesto" at their new human friend's house in Liguria, Italy.
The dish is made up of linguine with homemade pesto, potatoes, and green beans. The Pixar recipe is here, but I wanted to make a vegan version without cheese in it.
Everyone loved it at our house!
Today I'm thinking of the Buddhist concept of diligence. In a recent dharma talk I watched, a Plum Village nun defined diligence as "knowing how to make good use of the mud."
When things happen in our daily lives (mud), we can diligently practice these steps:
1. Stop
2. Identify what is happening and how we are feeling about it
3. If it's a positive, nourishing experience or feeling (joy, gratitude, love), focus on expanding and growing it
4. If it's a negative, damaging experience or feeling (anger, fear, shame), focus on transforming and reframing instead of letting it get stuck in your body or guide your actions
I hope this post brings you a comforting meal and less suffering in your day.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword comfort food, dairy-free, pasta, plant-based


  • 1 pound linguine or fettucine pasta (gluten-free if desired)
  • 4 medium yellow potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 1 pound green beans, chopped



  • In a food processor, put the basil leaves, garlic, salt, vegan parmesan, and roasted almonds. Blend until it's all broken down, then slowly drizzle in the olive oil to make a smooth paste. Add 1-2 Tbsp of water if needed to thin it out. Taste for salt and set aside.
  • In a large pot, add the pasta, potatoes, and green beans all together into boiling water. Boil for the number of minutes specified on the package directions, then drain everything in a colander.
  • Pour the pasta and veggies back in the large pot, then mix the pesto in with it. Serve hot and enjoy!
Did you make this? Please let me know by tagging @maitricooks on Instagram and leave any feedback on this recipe in the comments below. Happy cooking, and lots of love! 
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