Fuel My Friday: Van Der Merwe's Green Bean Pesto Pasta

22 Nov 2019

Grab some Italian pesto and greens from your store cupboard and rustle up this pasta dish from Kayla Van Der Merwe to fuel your Friday!

It's been an exciting year for Kayla Van Der Merwe, with the Winchester City Penguins swimmer winning a total of five international medals at the 2019 European Junior and 2019 World Junior Championships - which saw her awarded the title of 'Swimming Emerging Athlete of the Year' at the 2019 British Swimming Awards.

Now set for her senior international debut at the LEN European Short Course Swimming Championships in December, the breaststroke specialist has let us in on the secret to one of her favourite meals, a green bean and chicken pesto pasta!

Over to you Kayla...


  • 400g dried pasta
  • 250g green bean, trimmed
  • 150g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced
  • 2 large ready-roasted chicken breasts, shredded
  • 5 tbsp pesto
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • 20g Pine nuts
  • Handful Parmesan, grated, to serve


  1. Cook pasta following pack instructions, adding green beans for the final 5 mins of cooking time. Drain and reserve a few tbsps of the cooking water.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan, then add spring onions and cook for 1-2 mins until soft.Add the shredded chicken in the pan and heat through, before stirring in the pesto and cream. 
  3. Pop the pasta, green beans, cherry tomatoes and pine nuts in with the chicken mix and stir to coat, adding a little of the cooking water. 
  4. Season and sprinkle with Parmesan and your ready to serve up!