Skip To Content

    The Pasta From "Luca" Is Sooo Good In Real Life, And Here's How You Can Make It

    Pasta, gelato, and espresso...oh my!

    In case you missed it, Disney and Pixar's latest original feature film, Luca, has finally dropped, exclusively on Disney+!

    An image from the movie with Luca and Alberto admiring a janky scooter they built
    Disney / Pixar

    For a refresher, Luca is a coming-of-age story about a young boy — well, really, a sea monster — who becomes best friends with another sea monster boy named Alberto, who shows him the wonders and beauty of life above the water's surface in a gorgeous seaside town on the Italian Riviera.

    The film is beautiful, fun, and, because it's set in Italy, it also features A LOT of amazing-looking food — in particular, a pasta dish called trenette al pesto.

    A screenshot of the trenette al pesto pasta from Luca, it has long thin noodles with green beans , yellow potato, and a sprig of basil on top
    Disney / Pixar

    Trenette al pesto is a unique pasta dish from the Liguria region of northwest Italy that features a thin, flat-shaped pasta with potato, green beans, and pesto.

    And, lucky for all of us, Disney actually has an official recipe for the trenette al pesto from Luca, featuring the adorable character Giulia Marcovaldo!

    An illustration of Giulia from the movie saying "ciao ragazzi today I'm gonna show you a traditional ligurian recipe! My papa's trenette al pesto"
    Courtesy of Disney-Pixar

    In the movie, Giulia's dad Massimo makes trenette al pesto for Luca and Alberto, and let's just say they DEVOURED the heck out of it. So, being the food-in-movies-lover that I am, I decided to try out the recipe. Here's how it went:

    Disney / Pixar

    The official ingredient list for trenette al pesto from Disney includes a lot of expected items like the basil and pine nuts for the pesto, but it also has more unique ingredients like green beans and a yellow potato.

    Ingredients for 4 people: 500g Trenette or any pasta, 100 g green beans cut, one yellow potato cubed, 50g basil, 2 garlic cloves, pinch of salt, 2 tbsps grated parm, 2 tbps grated pecorino, 30g pine nuts, 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
    Courtesy of Disney-Pixar

    I've never had potato or green beans in pasta before, so I was excited to try it out!

    I was able to find almost everything on the list at my regular grocery store — the exception being the trenette pasta itself (I have literally never seen this type of pasta in a store before!). But the recipe said I could use linguine instead, so I did my best and opted for some linguine that's "made in Italy" at least.

    Crystal Ro / BuzzFeed

    Apparently, trenette is very similar to linguine, but "somewhat thinner and narrower."

    Also, for the record, I already had coarse salt and EVOO on hand.

    The first step was making the pesto, starting with the basil, garlic, and salt.

    Illustration: start with pesto, put basil, garlic, and salt in mortar or food processor, slowly add oil as you go
    Courtesy of Disney-Pixar

    I don't own a mortar, so I went with the food processor option to blitz up the basil, garlic, and salt.

    Darren Leis / BuzzFeed

    Then I added the pine nuts and cheeses.

    illustration: next, add pine nuts, both cheeses, and continue to add olive oil, consistency should be like a very dense cream, at this point, start boiling water
    Courtesy of Disney-Pixar

    The recipe called for 100ml of extra virgin olive oil, but pouring an exact amount into my tiny food processor wasn't very easy, so I just had to eyeball the amount until the ingredients looked like a "very dense cream."

    Darren Leis / BuzzFeed

    And here's how my pesto turned out! The first thing I noticed was that the smell was AMAZING. That fresh basil is no joke.

    Image of my pesto, which is nicely blended to a cream-like consistency
    Darren Leis / BuzzFeed

    Next up? The pasta, green beans, and potato!

    illustration: once water boils, add a little salt, throw in pasta, green beans, and the potato, cook until pasta is al dente, drain the pasta, but save a few spoonfuls of water
    Courtesy of Disney-Pixar

    The recipe called for 500g of the pasta, which as it turned out was the ENTIRE bag. This was the moment I realized this recipe could easily feed a family of four (or more!). So...ya know, take note!

    Darren Leis / BuzzFeed

    I honestly was curious if the potato and green beans would be cooked enough (or too much?!) with the pasta since it seems like these three ingredients would all normally have different cooking times.

    The pasta I bought said to cook for 11–13 minutes. I went right in the middle and did 12.

    Then it was time to put it all together.

    illustration: place pesto and spoonfuls of pasta water in bottom of serving bowl, then add pasta and mix
    Courtesy of Disney-Pixar

    I found it interesting that the recipe said to put the pesto in first (with some pasta water), and THEN add the pasta, but it actually worked pretty well! I only wish I'd had a slightly larger mixing bowl, LOL.

    Darren Leis / BuzzFeed

    And here's what my final product looked like:

    Darren Leis / BuzzFeed

    A side-by-side with the movie, for fun:

    Comparison of the movie's pasta and my pasta, which looks very similar
    Disney-Pixad, Darren Leis / BuzzFeed

    Finally, it was time to EAT!

    illustation: mic it well, then serve it, buon appetito a tutti voi — Giulia Marcovaldo
    Courtesy of Disney-Pixar

    And let's just say...IT WAS DELICIOUS!!

    Darren Leis / BuzzFeed

    Honestly, a lot of times when I have a pesto dish, I find it can be too oily or too salty (probably because it's usually store bought). But this homemade, fresh pesto was SO. GOOD. It had the perfect balance of all the ingredients. I've literally never had better pesto in my life. I thought the potato might make the dish feel too "starchy," but it was actually a nice contrast to the pasta and made the dish feel heartier than if it was JUST the pasta. And the green beans added a nice flavor and a pretty pop of color as well. Overall, the trenette al pesto felt very light and summery!

    Verdict: One very bold *Italian Chef's Kiss*.

    Darren Leis / BuzzFeed

    10/10 would recommend making this dish!

    Wanna see this pasta dish and MORE amazing foods in beautiful animated form? Watch Luca NOW on Disney+!

    View this video on YouTube

    TV and Movies

    Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

    Newsletter signup form