Photos by Alessandra Zecchini ©

One more class in Ranui and once again the children were so keen and helpful. After picking fresh basil, oregano, tomatoes and green beans in the community gardens, the children made basil pesto andsautéed green beans with fresh garlic and tomato sauce.

Sautéed Green Beans with Tomatoes




Green beans, plenty

1 garlic clove

2 tbsp olive oil

A few fresh ripe tomatoes

Salt to taste

Fresh oregano (optional)


Wash then top and tail the green beans. Peel the garlic and sauté with the olive oil. Add the tomatoes, washed and chopped. After 5 minutes add the green beans and salt to taste. Stir often and add a little water if necessary. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the green beans change colour. Add fresh oregano and serve.

Pasta al Pesto




1-2 or more garlic cloves (to taste)

Plenty of fresh basil leaves

A pinch of salt

Nuts (optional)

Cheese (optional)

Olive oil, a few tablespoons


Salt for the water


Using a mortar and pestle pound the garlic, fresh basil, and a pinch of salt. If you like add pine nuts, walnuts or cashew nuts.

You can also add some parmesan cheese, or feta cheese for a creamier pesto. Add olive oil until the pesto is smooth.


Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water. Drain the pasta and mix with pesto. Eat immediately.