Photo of Gemelli with tomatoes, limas, and arugula pesto by WW

Gemelli with tomatoes, limas, and arugula pesto

Total Time
40 min
20 min
20 min
The authentic flavors of Italy converge in this pasta dish with pesto, tomatoes and Romano cheese. The recipe calls for a quick homemade pesto made from pureed arugula, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper with the addition of pecorino. You can also double the pesto in this dish and save it for another use. We preferred grape tomatoes in this recipe, but you could also use cherry tomatoes if you have them on-hand. In addition, you could substitute fusilli for the gemelli. You can serve this as a vegetarian dish with a side salad or add meatballs for a protein-packed one-dish meal.


Uncooked whole wheat penne

8 oz, or gemelli

Cooked lima beans

10 oz, frozen, baby variety, thawed


1½ cup(s), baby variety, loosely packed


1 cup(s), fresh leaves, loosely packed

Olive oil

2 Tbsp

Fresh lemon juice

2 Tbsp


2 Tbsp


2 clove(s), peeled

Table salt

1 tsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp

Grated Pecorino Romano cheese

2 Tbsp

Grape tomatoes

1½ cup(s), or cherry tomatoes, halved


  1. Cook penne according to package directions, adding lima beans during last 3 minutes of cooking time. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water. Transfer penne mixture to large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, to make pesto, puree arugula, basil, oil, lemon juice, water, garlic, salt, and pepper in food processor. Stir in pecorino.
  3. Add pesto and tomatoes to penne mixture. Toss to coat, adding pasta cooking water, 1/4 cup at at time, until mixture is moistened. Divide evenly among 6 shallow bowls.
  4. Per serving: 1 cup