Pesto Pasta with Meatballs and Green Beans - 2 Dads with Baggage
Green bean and meatball pasta recipe

Pesto Pasta with Meatballs and Green Beans

I am a Perdue Farms Brand Ambassador and this post about Pesto Pasta with Meatballs and Green Beans was written in partnership with them. I may receive compensation from the affiliate links included here.

Pasta never goes out of season, and summer brings a special level of freshness to the ingredients list. One of my favorite flavors of summer is sweet Italian basil, which we grow in our backyard vegetable garden. In fact we eat so much of it that we have to plant more, because it is ALL GONE. It’s recipes like this Pesto Pasta with Meatballs and Green Beans that bring that summer taste to the dinner table.

dish of pasta with green beans, meatballs, pesto and parsley
The blend of fresh flavors in this simple pasta dish make a great summer feast.

One of the hallmarks of Sicilian cooking is the simplicity of the dishes. This recipe is no exception because the list of ingredients is short, the directions are easy and the flavors deliver a big combination our family really loves. Hope yours does too!

One key component in this recipe is quality meats, which is why I use only Niman Ranch and Perdue Farms meat products in all my recipes. And right now you can use my affiliate links to order Niman Ranch Ground Beef and Niman Ranch Ground Pork for this recipe (and a whole lot of other great stuff). If you order now, you can receive a special discount and free shipping on orders over $109.

Pesto Pasta with Meatballs and Green Beans

Pesto is one of those universally loved sauces that is so easy to make. The total of the ingredients in a simple pesto are fresh basil leaves, garlic and olive oil. Some people add parmesan or romano cheese, and others add pine nuts for a deeper flavor profile, or both. A little salt and pepper, and you’re good to go.

For this recipe, I’m allowing for either homemade pesto or store-bought. Some folks may not have the time or desire to go the extra few steps to make their own. No judgements on that!

There is also a lot to be said about using quality beef when you make meatballs. I’ve found that generic meat from the supermarket tends to fall apart when cooked as meatballs. I

Ingredients for Pesto Pasta with Meatballs

Ingredients for pasta with green beans including chopped onions and parsley
Prep the ingredients in advance and this dish comes together quickly and easily.

For the meatballs:

(makes about 12)

  • 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped very finely
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped very finely
  • 1 Tbs rosemary, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 lb package of Niman Ranch All Natural Ground Beef
  • 1 lb package of Niman Ranch All Natural Ground Pork
  • Salt and pepper to taste
meatball recipe ingredients
Use only the best and freshest ingredients when making this meatball recipe.

For the pasta:

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 pound green beans, cleaned and cut in 2-3 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
  • 8 ounces basil pesto (jar or fresh)*
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

*recipe not included here

Instructions:

For the meatballs:

Using your hands, mix all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Make sure all components are blended together well throughout the mixture.

Roll mixture together in firm balls a little larger than a golf ball. Place on a plate one at a time until all the mixture has been used. Cover, and place the plate of meatballs in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes.

man holding raw meatball while preparing to cook Italian meatball recipe
Roll tightly so the meat doesn’t come apart in the sugo while cooking.

Preheat oven to 450°.

Remove meatballs from fridge, place on oiled baking sheet spaced about 2 inches apart and bake in oven for 10 minutes. Remove and turn to ensure, place back in oven for 5 more minutes. Remove and set aside.

For the pasta:

While meatballs are cooking, boil water in a large pot with a dash of salt. When at full boil, add pasta noodles and cook per directions on packaging. When timer says 2 more minutes for pasta to be done, add green beans to the pot.

When fully cooked, drain pasta and green beans but reserve 1 cup of pasta water for later use. Set aside.

In same pot over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add onions and cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Add cream cheese, pesto, reserved pasta water, salt and pepper. Whisk together until mixture is smooth.

Add pasta, green beans and 1 tablespoon parsley to pot and mix gently to avoid breaking up cooked pasta.

Add meatballs to the pot and mix gently.

Serve in bowls topped with a sprinkle of parsley and parmesan cheese. Pesto Pasta with Meatballs is ready to enjoy!

Green bean and meatball pasta recipe
Green beans, meatballs and pesto give this summer pasta dish extra flavor.

For Another Meatball Recipe

If you like the idea of meatballs, and prefer to eat them in a traditional tomato sauced-based pasta, see our Mom’s Italian Meatball Recipe That Never Fails.

And don’t forget that you can order delicious Niman Ranch ground beef, ground pork and more using my Perdue Farms affiliate link to get 15% off!

Pesto Pasta with Meatballs and Green Beans

Course Main Course
Keyword Pasta, Perdue
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1/2 Cup Onion Finely Diced
  • 1/4 Cup Mint Chopped Very Finely
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley Chopped Very Finely
  • 1 Tbs Rosemary Chopped Finely
  • 2 Cloved Garlic Finely Minced
  • 2 Tbs Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Lb package of Niman Ranch All Natural Ground Beef
  • 1 Lb package of Niman Ranch All Natural Ground Pork
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

Pasta

  • 1 Lb Penne Pasta
  • 1 Lb Green Beans Cleaned and cut in 2-3 inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Yellow Onion Finely Diced
  • 2 Tbsp Italian Parsley Chopped
  • 8 Oz Basil Pesto Jar or Fresh
  • 1/3 Cup Cream Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • *recipe not included here

Instructions

Meatballs

  1. Using your hands, mix all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Make sure all components are blended together well throughout the mixture.

  2. Roll mixture together in firm balls a little larger than a golf ball. Place on a plate one at a time until all the mixture has been used.

  3. Cover, and place the plate of meatballs in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes.

  4. Preheat oven to 450°.

  5. Remove meatballs from fridge, place on oiled baking sheet spaced about 2 inches apart and bake in oven for 10 minutes.

  6. Remove and turn to ensure, place back in oven for 5 more minutes. Remove and set aside.

Pasta

  1. While meatballs are cooking, boil water in a large pot with a dash of salt. When at full boil, add pasta noodles and cook per directions on packaging. When timer says 2 more minutes for pasta to be done, add green beans to the pot.

  2. When fully cooked, drain pasta and green beans but reserve 1 cup of pasta water for later use. Set aside.

  3. In same pot over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add onions and cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Add cream cheese, pesto, reserved pasta water, salt and pepper. Whisk together until mixture is smooth.

  4. Add pasta, green beans and 1 tablespoon parsley to pot and mix gently to avoid breaking up cooked pasta.

  5. Add meatballs to the pot and mix gently.

  6. Serve in bowls topped with a sprinkle of parsley and parmesan cheese. Pesto Pasta with Meatballs is ready to enjoy!

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Pesto pasta with meatballs and green beans
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