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Bowl of pasta with asparagus, spinach, white beans, and parmesan cheese. Easy, healthy, filling, plant-based, vegan recipe

Spring Vegetable & White Bean Pasta with Lemon Pesto

Yield: 6 people


Feel free to use any hearty green—kale, beet, Swiss chard—in place of the spinach.


  • Salt
  • 1 pound bite-size pasta
  • 1/2 pound each: asparagus and fresh spinach
  • 1 cup (4 oz) green peas
  • 3 cups 1/2 recipe A Pot of White Beans, or 2 cans (15 to 16 ounces each)
  • 1/2 cup Lemon Pesto
  • Grated Pecorino-Romano cheese, optional


  • Heat a generous 2 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of salt in a large pot. Add pasta and, using package cooking times as a guide, cook until a few minutes before the suggested cooking time. Add asparagus; continue to cook, stirring often, until pasta is almost tender, about two minutes. Add spinach and peas; continue to cook until pasta is al dente and vegetables are bright green and tender, about a minute longer. Drain the pasta over a bowl to catch the cooking liquid; return pasta to the pot. Add beans, pesto, and enough pasta cooking liquid to make a moist, flavorful dish. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of cheese, if you like.