Trenette al Pesto from Luca

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!


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


  • 45 basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pinch coarse salt
  • 4 Tbsp vegan parmesan
  • 1 handful roasted almonds
  • 75 mL extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp water from the pasta, if needed to thin the pesto sauce


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!


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.

Chef Maitri Carmichael brings a creative and peaceful energy to every plate. She grew up in Toronto with a British Grandma and an Italian Nonna who showed their love through food, then she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years, spending her free time at community farms and zen kitchens. Originally a scientist and biotech entrepreneur, she graduated from the Vegan Chef School in London (2021) and the Raw Food Culinary Academy in Vancouver (2023), and is now settled in Hawaii.

8 responses to “Trenette al Pesto from Luca”

  1. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Amazing and comforting! 🙂

  2. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Instagram comment from thetessa_marie: I am hungry just looking at this

    1. maitricookswithlove Avatar

      @thetessa_marie Thanks Tessa-Marie! 😀

  3. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Facebook comment from Lisa: Looks delicious!

  4. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Instagram comment from Jessica: Mmmm…..pesto❤️

  5. maitricookswithlove Avatar
  6. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Pesto is the besto! 🙂

  7. […] Storebought or homemade vegan pesto – recipe here […]

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