Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Jan Gautro
8 servings (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups pasta and 1 tablespoon cheese)

Pasta is a dry ingredient that becomes water-rich when cooked. This vegetarian main dish shows off summer-fresh fava beans. If you can't find them, substitute fresh lima beans or even thawed frozen edamame.

Water tally: 3.9 ounces.

How to Make It

Step 1

Remove beans from pods; discard pods. Cook beans in boiling water 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain. Remove outer skins from beans; discard skins.

Step 2

Combine basil and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a food processor; process until smooth. With processor on, slowly pour oil through food chute, and process until well blended.

Step 3

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Combine pasta and basil mixture in a large bowl, tossing to coat. Add beans and tomatoes, tossing to combine. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Ratings & Reviews

JessicaNat's Review

May 19, 2013

greyout's Review

January 13, 2013

SchuylerV30's Review

November 13, 2012
I used edamame, which made it really easy and very good! I also used only about 12 oz of pasta. Very light and tasty!

8stringfan's Review

November 20, 2010
Good recipe for a basic pesto. I used edamame because I could not find fava beans and it seemed like a perfectly good substitution. I also doubled the pesto because I bought too much basil. In the end I added all of the extra pesto and tossed in some extra Parmesan. Not sure if it still qualified as "light" but it was probably much better than the original which seemed a tad under-flavored due to the low ratio of pesto-to-pasta. Served with a simple side salad of baby spinach and lemon garlic vinaigrette.

stephtimmons's Review

May 09, 2010
This turned out to be very good. But the fava beans were a lot of work and not worth all the trouble. I think next time I'll add another type of bean that isn't so time consuming.